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Full text of "Federal motor vehicle safety standards and regulations, with amendments and interpretations"

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PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY 

STANDARD NO. 209 

Seat Belt Assemblies 
(Docket No. 80-12; Notice 2) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Safety Standard 
No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies, to exempt seat belts 
installed in conjunction with automatic restraint 
systems from the belt elongation requirements of 
the standard. This amendment is based on a peti- 
tion for rulemaking submitted by Mercedes-Benz 
of North America and follows the publication of a 
proposal. The amendment permits manufacturers 
to install belt systems incorporating load-limiting 
devices which are intended to make further reduc- 
tions in head and upper torso injuries during an ac- 
cident. Some load-limiting belt systems utilize web- 
bing that elongates more than is currently allowed 
by Standard No. 209. This amendment would per- 
mit this and other type systems to exceed the max- 
imum elongation allowed by the standard. 



DATES: 

1981. 



This amendment is effective January 12, 



ADDRESSES: Any petition for reconsideration 
should refer to the docket number and notice 
number and be submitted to: National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, 
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. 

William Smith, Office of Vehicle Safety Standards, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-2264). 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Safety Stand- 
ard No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies (49 CFR 
571.209), specifies performance requirements for 
seat belts to be used in motor vehicles. One of these 
performance requirements specifies the maximum 



amount that the webbing of a belt assembly is per- 
mitted to extend or elongate when subjected to 
certain specified forces (paragraph S4.2(c)). 
Mercedes-Benz of North America petitioned 
NHTSA to exempt seat belt assemblies installed in 
passenger cars in conjunction with air cushion 
restraint systems from the webbing elongation 
requirements of the standard. The agency granted 
that petition and issued a notice of proposed 
rulemaking to amend the standard on August 4, 
1980 (45 F.R. 51626). 

Mercedes is considering the use of a belt system 
that incorporates a load-limiting device. A load- 
limiter is a seat belt assembly component or 
feature that controls tension on the seat belt and 
modulates or limits the force loads that are im- 
parted to a restrained vehicle occupant by the belt 
assembly during a crash. Load-limiting devices are 
intended to reduce head and upper torso injuries 
through increased energy management. A load- 
limiter can be a separate component of the seat 
belt system, such as a torsion bar that allows the 
retractor to reel out additional webbing when a 
certain designed force level is reached. The load- 
limiter can also be a feature of the webbing itself, 
such as webbing that will elongate to certain 
designed lengths when subjected to particular 
force levels. Mercedes is interested in using the lat- 
ter type load-limiting system. However, the web- 
bing in the Mercedes belt system would elongate 
beyond the limits that are currently specified in 
Standard No. 209. Mercedes' petition stated that 
this type belt system should be allowed in vehicles 
equipped with air cushion restraints since the two 
systems used in conjunction with one another can 
be designed to achieve the maximum reduction in 
head injuries and upper-torso injuries. 



PART 571; S 209-PRE 21 



Although safety belts protect occupants from 
life-threatening impacts with the vehicle interior, 
the forces necessarily generated by the belts upon 
occupants during a crash can result in upper torso 
injury. As noted in the notice of proposed rulemak- 
ing, data available to the agency indicate that load- 
limiting belts can reduce these injuries, as well as 
working in combination with an automatic 
restraint system to provide protection for impacts 
with the vehicle interior. The proposal specified 
that both Type 1 (lap belts) and Type 2 (combina- 
tion lap and shoulder belts) manual belts having 
load-limiting devices and used in conjunction with 
automatic restraints would be exempted from the 
elongation requirements. Additionally, the pro- 
posal specified that such belts would have to be 
labeled to clarify that they are intended for use 
only in vehicles equipped with automatic restraint 
systems. 

The proposal limited the use of load-limiting 
belts to vehicles equipped with automatic 
restraints since there are currently no dynamic 
performance requirements or injury criteria for 
manual belt systems used alone. There are no re- 
quirements to ensure that a load-Hmiting belt 
system would protect vehicle occupants from im- 
pacting the steering wheel, instrument panel and 
windshield, which would be very likely if the belts 
elongated beyond the limits specified in Standard 
No. 209. Therefore, the elongation requirements 
are necessary to ensure that manual belts used as 
the sole restraint system will adequately restrain 
vehicle occupants. 

Nine comments were submitted in response to 
the August 4 proposal, all supporting the exemp- 
tion for load-limiting belts. Vehicle manufacturers 
stated that the proposed exemption from the 
elongation requirements would allow design flex- 
ibility and lead to improved occupant restraint 
systems. 

American Motors Corporation (AMC) stated that 
the exemption for load-limiting belts should only 
apply to Type 2 manual belts. The company argued 
that the only available data relates to the ability of 
Type 2 load-limiting belts to reduce certain head 
and upper-torso injuries. AMC stated that torso in- 
jury is not a function of lap belt loads and that no 
similar correlation has been made between lap belt 
loads and pelvic fractures. Therefore, the company 
believes that the exemption from the elongation re- 



quirements for Type 1 belts should be postponed 
until specific injury patterns can be correlated with 
lap belt loads. 

The agency proposed allowing the exemption for 
both Type 1 and Type 2 belts in order to give 
manufacturers broader design latitude to use load- 
limiting features on all belt systems used in con- 
junction with automatic restraints. AMC is correct 
in its statement that more data are available 
regarding the correlation between Type 2 belts and 
upper-torso injury than is available regarding load- 
limiting features on Type 1 belts. However, com- 
ments received from Rolls-Royce Motors stated 
that the company has tested manual Type 1 belts 
incorporating load-limiting features and found that 
better results are obtained under the injury criteria 
of Safety Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 571.208) than 
with Type 1 belts which must comply with the 
elongation requirements. In light of this informa- 
tion, and the fact that load-limiting Type 1 belts 
would only be allowed in conjunction with auto- 
matic restraint systems complying with the injury 
criteria of Standard No. 208, the agency has de- 
cided to include Type 1 belts in the exemption. This 
will allow manufacturers to develop innovative 
designs to maximize the protection provided by its 
automatic restraint systems. If future data in- 
dicate a problem with Type 1 belts that incorporate 
load-limiting features, the exemption from the 
elongation requirements can be reconsidered by 
the agency. 

The August 4, 1980, notice proposed to add a 
new definition to Standard No. 209 to define "load- 
limiter," and limited the exemption from the 
elongation requirements to belts incorporating 
load-limiters and installed in conjunction with 
automatic restraints. Volvo of America Corpora- 
tion commented that the definition of "load- 
limiter" is very broad and could be interpreted to 
include all existing belt webbing. Volvo stated that 
the exemption should, therefore, apply to any Type 
1 or 2 belt installed in conjunction with an 
automatic restraint, and not be limited to load- 
limiting belts. 

While the agency understands Volvo's point that 
the proposed language may be extremely detailed, 
we believe the language is necessary to clarify the 
exemption and to avoid confusion for belt manufac- 
turers. Safety Standard No. 209 is an equipment 
standard rather than a vehicle standard, and each 



PART 571; S 209-PRE 22 



seat belt assembly must be certified by the belt 
manufacturer. The proposed language was intended 
to create a clear distinction between belts comply- 
ing with elongation requirements of Safety Stand- 
ard No. 209 and those that incorporate load- 
limiting features that preclude compliance with the 
elongation requirements. The proposed language 
explained which belt systems must be labeled as 
being for use only in vehicles equipped with 
automatic restraints. The agency believes this 
language, including the definition of "load- 
limiter," is necessary at the current time to clarify 
the requirements for those persons or manufac- 
turers who may not be totally familiar with the 
requirements of Safety Standard No. 209. Other- 
wise, it would not be clear from the standard why 
certain belts are exempted from the elongation re- 
quirements of the standard. 

In another comment related to this same subject. 
General Motors Corporation pointed out that the 
proposed labeling requirement for load-limiting 
belts could apply to all Type 1 and 2 belts incor- 
porating load-limiting features even if all current 
209 requirements are met. General Motors stated 
that load-limiting belt systems that can, never- 
theless, comply with the elongation requirements 
of the standard should not be limited in their ap- 
plication to vehicles equipped with automatic 
restraint systems. The agency agrees with this 
argument, and the language is changed in this 
amendment accordingly. 

General Motors also questioned the need to re- 
quire any label at all on load-limiting belts. The 
proposal specified that such belts would have to be 
permanently marked or labeled to indicate the 
assembly may only be installed in vehicles in con- 
junction with an automatic restraint system. 
General Motors argued that a label is not 
necessary to control the installation of load- 
limiting belts in the proper vehicles. Seat belt 
manufacturers must currently provide appropriate 
installation instructions for its equipment. General 
Motors contends that this requirement, coupled 
with the fact that replacement belts are generally 
ordered and installed by a repair facility, will en- 
sure that load-limiting belts are only installed in 
vehicles equipped with automatic restraints. The 
agency does not agree with this position. As stated 
earlier, the agency believes that care must be 
taken to distinguish load-limiting belt systems 
from other systenis. If there is a label on the belt 



itself, a person making the installation will be 
aware that the belt should only be installed in con- 
junction with automatic restraints. This should be 
made obvious to the person making the installation 
without reference to the installation instructions. 
Further, none of the other commenters objected to 
the proposed labeling requirement. American 
Motors Corporation specifically stated that a label 
is necessary. 

General Motors is correct in its statement that 
this warning will also be provided in the installa- 
tion instructions provided by the belt manufac- 
turer. Paragraphs 84.1(1) of Safety Standard No. 
209 provides, in part, that the installation instruc- 
tion sheet provided by the belt manufacturer shall 
state whether the assembly is for universal in- 
stallation or for installation only in specifically 
stated motor vehicles. Therefore, belt manufac- 
turers will be required to specify in the installation 
instructions that load-limiting belts are only to be 
installed in combination with automatic restraint 
systems. The agency believes that at the current 
time these duplicative warnings, in the instruction 
sheet and on a belt label, are a necessary precau- 
tion to ensure that load-limiting belts are only in- 
stalled in the proper vehicles. After a majority of 
vehicles on the road are equipped with automatic 
restraints, such labeling may no longer be 
necessary. 

Volvo of America Corporation commented that 
some upper limit on belt elongation may be re- 
quired for Type 1 manual belts incorporating load- 
limiting features, although no such limit was 
specified in the proposal. Volvo pointed out that 
Type 1 belts installed in conjimction with air 
cushion restraints will also provide roU-over pro- 
tection for vehicle occupants. The company is con- 
cerned that if no upper limit on elongation is 
specified, such belts may not provide the intended 
protection in roll-over accidents. 

While the agency agrees that this is a legitimate 
concern, it does not believe it is necessary to 
specify such an upper limit at the current time. It is 
not likely that manufacturers will design load- 
limiting belt systems that will elongate appreciably 
beyond the limits specified in Standard No. 209. 
Presumably, load-limiting belts will be designed to 
provide actual restraint in conjunction with the 
automatic restraint system, if the vehicle is to com- 
ply with the injury criteria of Safety Standard No. 



PART 571; S 209-PRE 23 



208. If a load-limiting belt design elongates to the 
extent that it would provide no protection in roll- 
over accidents, it would also not provide any pro- 
tection in frontal crashes. Therefore, it is not likely 
that manufacturers would permit such extensive 
elongation in their systems. Moreover, the forces 
generated in frontal crashes are more severe than 
those that occur in roll-over accidents, so the 
elongation that would occur even with load- 
limiting systems would not be as great in roll-over 
accidents as in frontal accidents. The agency 
believes that manufacturers should be given broad 
latitude in the development of load-limiting belt 
systems to be used in vehicles equipped with 
automatic restraints. In light of these considera- 
tions, no upper limit on belt elongation is specified 
in this amendment. Manufacturers should be 
cognizant of the point made by Volvo, however, 
during the development of their systems. 

The comments of Renault USA included general 
questions regarding automatic seat belts and the 
relationship between Safety Standard No. 208 and 
Safety Standard No. 209. Some confusion ap- 
parently exists regarding paragraph S4.5.3.4 of 
Safety Standard No. 208 and agency interpreta- 
tions regarding that paragraph. The agency has 
stated in the past that only automatic belts that are 
installed to meet the frontal crash protection 
requirements of S5.1 of Standard No. 208 are ex- 
empted from the requirements of Standard No. 

209. Yet, the agency has also stated that those por- 
tions of Standard No. 209 relating to retractors 
are applicable to all automatic belts. Renault finds 
these statements inconsistent. 

Paragraph S4.5.3.4 of Standard No. 208 is a 
general provision which exempts certain automatic 
belts, those meeting the injury criteria of the 
standard, from the requirements of Standard No. 
209. However, paragraph S4. 5.3.3(a) of Standard 
No. 208 specifically provides that automatic belts 
shall conform to S7.1 of Standard No. 208, and 
that paragraph relates to the performance require- 
ments for belt retractors specified in Standard No. 
209. It is for this reason that the agency has stated 
that all automatic belts must comply with the 
retractor requirements, notwithstanding the 
general exemption specified in S4.5.3.4. 

Renault contends that paragraph S4. 5.3.4 is also 
inconsistent by its own terms since, Renault 
states, an automatic belt system must always com- 
ply with the injury criteria of S5.1 of Standard No. 
208. This incorrect Paragraph S4.5.3 of Safety 
Standard No. 208 specifies that an automatic belt 



may be used to meet the crash protection require- 
ments of any option under S4 and in place of any 
seat belt assembly otherwise required by that op- 
tion. Therefore, prior to the effective date of the 
automatic restraint requirements of the standard, 
automatic belts could be used to satisfy the third 
option of section S4— the seat belt option. 
Automatic belts installed under the third option 
would not be required to comply with the injury 
criteria of S5.1, since the injury criteria is only 
specified as a requirement under option 1 and op- 
tion 2. Manufacturers are permitted, however, to 
install automatic belts in satisfaction of either op- 
tion 1 or option 2 and to certify to the injury 
criteria, if they desire. In summary, automatic 
belts installed in passenger cars in compliance with 
the injury criteria of Safety Standard No. 208 are 
only required to comply with the provisions of 
Safety Standard No. 209 relating to retractors. 
They are not required to comply with any other 
provision in Standard No. 209. Automatic belts in- 
stalled in passenger cars that are not certified as 
being in compliance with the injury criteria of 
Standard No. 208, i.e., those installed under the 
third option of the standard, are required to com- 
ply with all provisions of Standard No. 209. Manual 
seat belts having load-limiters, installed in vehicles 
in conjunction with automatic restraints meeting 
the injury criteria of Standard No. 208, are re- 
quired to comply with all provisions of Standard 
No. 209 except the elongation requirements (by 
this amendment). 

The agency has determined that this amendment 
is not a significant regulation under Executive 
Order 12221, "Improving Government Regula- 
tions," and the Departmental guidelines im- 
plementing that Order. Therefore, a regulatory 
analysis is not required. The exemption specified in 
this amendment provides manufacturers with 
broader design alternatives and should have little 
if any economic or environmental impact. Conse- 
quently, the agency has also determined that a 
regulatory evaluation is not required. 

The engineer and lawyer primarily responsible 
for the development of this rule are William Smith 
and Hugh Gates, respectively. 

Issued on January 5, 1981. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 
46 F.R. 2618 
January 12, 1981 



PART 571; S 209-PRE 24 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 209 

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; 
Seat Belt Assemblies 

[Docket No. 82-15; Notice 2] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: The purpose of this notice is to amend 
Safety Standard No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies, 
which incorporates by reference a number of recom- 
mended practices and test procedures developed by 
voluntary standards organizations. This amend- 
ment updates those references by incorporating the 
most recent version of the recommended practices 
and procedures. This amendment is intended to 
keep the standard in pace with the technological 
changes and improvements in the industry. 

DATE: This amendment is effective July 30, 1983. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 209, Seat Belt 
Assemblies (49 CFR 571.209), specifies perfor- 
mance requirements for seat belts used in 
passenger cars, trucks, buses and multipurpose 
passenger vehicles (both as original and after- 
market equipment). Several of the performance re- 
quirements of the standard incorporate recom- 
mended practices developed by voluntary stan- 
dards organizations and associations. In addition, 
the standard specifies that certain, long- 
established industry test procedures be used in 
determining whether the seat belts meet those per- 
formance requirements. Because of the lengthy and 
technical nature of the recommended practices and 
test procedures, the standard incorporates those 
specifications by reference rather than setting out 
full texts in Standard No. 209. 

Since Standard No. 209 was first issued, along 
with the incorporated material, some of the 
referenced practices and procedures have been 



modified in some respects by the standards 
organizations, because of technological changes 
and advancements. In light of these modifications, 
the agency conducted a review of all the materials 
incorporated by reference within Standard No. 209 
to determine which materials needed to be changed 
so that their most recent version is incorporated 
in the standard. That review led to the issuance 
of a proposal to amend the standard to update all 
materials incorporated by reference (47 FR 31712, 
July 22, 1982). Interested persons should consult 
that notice of proposed rulemaking which sets out 
in detail the specific sections of the standard that 
include incorporated material, along with the pro- 
posed updated version of that material. As noted 
in the proposal, the incorporated material was 
developed by such voluntary standards associa- 
tions as the American Association of Textile 
Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), the American 
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the 
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). 

Nine comments were submitted to the agency in 
response to the notice of proposed rulemaking, all 
of which supported the proposed update of 
materials incorporated by reference in the stan- 
dard. There were only a few recommended changes 
in the proposed revisions. 

In addition to incorporating the new ASTM cor- 
rosion resistance test procedure (paragraph S5.2(a) 
of the standard), the agency proposed a minor 
change in the procedure. The ASTM procedure 
specifies that the seat belt hardware is to be 
"suitably cleaned" prior to testing. To clarify the 
extent of cleaning necessary, the agency proposed 
to specify that any temporary coating placed on the 
seat belt hardware shall be removed prior to 



PART 571; S209-PRE 25 



testing. The purpose of the proposed change was 
to prevent the use of a coating material on the 
hardware during the corrosion resistance test that 
would aid the hardware in meeting the require- 
ment, but which would not be found on the hard- 
ware when it is in actual vehicle use. Coatings 
which are applied permanently to the hardware 
would not have to be removed. The language pro- 
posed was as follows: 
"Any surface coating or material not intended for 
permanent retention on the metal parts during 
service life shall be removed prior to preparation 
of the test specimen for testing." 
Both Ford Motor Company and the Motor Vehi- 
cle Manufacturers Association requested changes 
in this language. Ford argued that the phrases "in- 
tended for permanent retention" and "during ser- 
vice life" are unduly restrictive because some anti- 
corrosion coatings are applied to component parts 
to inhibit their corrosion during shipment to 
assembly plants and are intended to remain on 
those parts after assembly of the vehicle and its 
delivery to the first retail purchaser. Ford noted 
that such oil coatings may, however, disappear 
(e.g., dry up) during the service life of the vehicle. 
(MVMA's concern appeared to be identical to 
Ford's.) 

The agency proposed to clarify the cleaning in- 
structions in the corrosion test procedure because 
a testing laboratory brought a potential problem 
to the agency's attention. The laboratory reported 
that certain seat belt components had been 
delivered to it for corrosion testing which had been 
coated with wax. Obviously, such a coating would 
preclude a true testing of the components' corro- 
..sion resistance and the coating would not likely be 
present throughout the service life of the vehicle 
(and might in fact be removed during vehicle 
assembly). While the agency understands the point 
raised by Ford and MVMA (that oil coatings are 
intended to remain on the components upon 
delivery), as Ford pointed out, these coatings will 
likely dry up during the service life of the vehicle. 
Therefore, it is the agency's opinion that wax, oil 
or other coatings that are not permanent should 
be removed prior to testing since they can skew the 
test results and misrepresent the corrosion 
resistance of component parts during actual vehi- 
cle use. Consequently, the proposed language is be- 
ing maintained in this amendment. It should be 
noted, however, that this test requirement is in no 
way intended to preclude manufacturers from plac- 



ing any coatings, either temporary or permanent, 
on their seat belt assembly components. 

Section S5.1(e) of Standard No. 209 specifies the 
test procedures for measuring the resistance to 
light of seat belt assemblies. In May 1980, the 
agency proposed to alter the test apparatus used 
for these requirements in light of new dacron 
materials being used in belt assemblies (45 FR 
29102). As a part of that action, the agency pro- 
posed to update the one ASTM recommended prac- 
tice (E42-64) already incorporated in the standard 
and to add a reference to another ASTM practice 
(G24-66). The proposal preceding this amendment 
noted that the agency is awaiting the completion 
of additional testing before taking final action on 
the May 1980 proposal and that, if an amendment 
were adopted, the agency would incorporate the 
most recent version of both the ASTM recom- 
mended practices. 

Volkswagen of America pointed out that ASTM 
G24-66 is not the most recent version of that stan- 
dard and cited instead G24-73. The Motor Vehicle 
Manufacturers Association stated that its member 
companies had not yet had a chance to evaluate 
the new ASTM procedures and indicated that they 
could involve significant changes. Both com- 
menters requested that a new proposal be issued 
before a final amendment involving the resistance 
to light requirements is issued. The agency realizes 
that the new ASTM procedures may involve 
substantial changes in the test procedures and does 
intend to issue an additional proposal prior to up- 
dating that aspect of the Standard No. 209 test pro- 
cedures (pending completion of additional testing, 
as noted in the notice of proposed rulemaking). 

Two commenters, American Motors Corporation 
and Ms. Patricia Hill, pointed out a discrepancy 
between the Occupant Weight and Dimension 
Charts referenced in S4.1(gX3) of Standard No. 209 
and in S7.1.3 of Standard No. 208, Occupant Crash 
Protection (49 CFR 571.208). The hip breadth (sit- 
ting) for the 95th percentile adult male is listed as 

16.4 inches in the former and as 16.5 inches in the 
latter. To remove this discrepancy, this notice 
amends the chart in Standard No. 209 to agree 
with the chart in Standard No. 208 (i.e., to read 

16.5 inches). (Originally, the chart in Standard No. 
208 also listed the hip breadth as 16.4 inches. This 
was amended January 8, 1981, to be consistent 
with the dimensions of the Part 572 test dummy 
(46 FR 2064)). 

The American Seat Belt Council noted that a 



PART 571; S209-PRE 26 



more recent version of AATCC Test Method 30 

(30-81), Resistance to Microorganisms, has been 
issued than was noted in the proposal (which 
referenced 30-79). The agency has reviewed this 
latest version and determined that the only dif- 
ference between 30-79 and 30-81 is the optional ad- 
dition of glucose to the test culture used in Test III. 
The agency agrees with this option and therefore 
is incorporating AATCC Method 30-81 in this 
amendment. 

The notice of proposed rulemaking preceding this 
amendment also solicited comments, information 
and data from the public concerning any current 
requirements of Standard No. 209 which possibly 
impose a regulatory burden and have a negligible 
or inconsequential impact on safety. The agency 
solicited this information as part of its regulatory 
review of all existing regulations. All comments to 
the proposal included suggested changes or revi- 
sions to reduce burdens, clarify requirements or to 
harmonize Standard No. 209 with European stan- 
dards. These comments are currently being re- 
viewed by the agency under its Regulatory Reform 
program and may lead to additional rulemaking 
to reduce or eliminate regulatory burdens imposed 
by Standard No. 209. (Persons interested in the 
recommended changes should consult comments to 
the proposal: Docket 82-15; Notice 1.) 

In addition to the amendments discussed earlier, 
this notice also amends 49 CFR Part 571.5, Mat- 
ter Incorporated by Reference, to list the address 
of the American Association of Textile Chemists 
and Colorists (AATCC). This amendment will 
assist interested parties in obtaining copies of the 
AATCC test procedures which are incorporated by 
reference in Standard No. 209. 

The amendments included in this notice are to 
become effective 30 days after the date of this 
publication. The Administrator has determined 
that there is good cause for an effective date sooner 
than 180 days because this amendment only up- 
dates material incorporated by reference and 
makes no real substantive changes in the standard. 
Consequently, the burdens on manufacturers will 
in no way be increased. 
Executive Order 12291 

The agency has evaluated the economic and other 
impacts of this final rule and determined that they 
are neither major as defined by Executive Order 
12291 nor significant as defined by the Department 
of Transportation's regulatory policies and pro- 
cedures. The final rule only updates references to 



recommended practices and test methods already 
incorporated by reference in Standard No. 209. 
Because the economic and other effects of this pro- 
posal are so minimal, a full regulatory evaluation 
has not been prepared. 
Regulatory Flexibility Act 

In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act, the agency has evaluated the effects of this 
action on small entities. Based on that evaluation, 
I certify that the final rule will not have a signifi- 
cant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibili- 
ty analysis has been prepared. 

Only a few of the vehicle and parts manufac- 
turers required to comply with Standard No. 209 
are small businesses as defined by the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. Small organizations and govern- 
mental jurisdictions which purchase fleets of motor 
vehicles would not be significantly affected by the 
amendments. The final rule merely updates 
references to test methods and recommended prac- 
tices incorporated by reference in Standard No. 
209. These updates should not impose any costs or 
other burdens. 

PART 571— FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY 
STANDARDS 

In consideration of the foregoing, the following 
amendments are made to Title 49, Chapter V, § 
571.209, Seat Belt Assemblies, and § 571.5, Mat- 
ter incorporated by reference: 
§ 571.209 [Amended] 

1. The first sentence of S4.1(f) is revised to read 
as follows: 

***** 
g4 2^ * * * 

(f) Attachment hardware. A seat belt assembly 
shall include all hardware necessary for installa- 
tion in a motor vehicle in accordance with Society 
of Automotive Engineers Recommended Practice 
J800c, "Motor Vehicle Seat Belt Installation," 
November 1973. * * * 
" * * * * * 

2. The chart included in S4.1(gX3) is amended so 
that the dimension for hip breadth (sitting) for the 
95th percentile adult male reads as follows: 

S4.1(g) * * * 

(Q) * * * 

Hip breadth (sitting) 12.8 in 16.5 in. 

3. The last sentence of S4.1(k) is revised to read 

as follows: 

***** 

S4.1 * * * 



PART 571; S209-PRE 27 



(k.) Installation instructions. * * * The installa- 
tion instructions shall state whether the assembly 
is for universal installation or for installation on- 
ly in specifically stated motor vehicles, and shall 
include at least those items specified in SAE 
Recommended Practice J800c, "Motor Vehicle Seat 

Belt Installations," November 1973. 

***** 

4. The second sentence of S4.3(aXl) is revised to 

read as follows: 

***** 

S4.3 * * * 

(a) Corrosion resistance, (i) * * * 
Alternatively, such hardware at or near the floor 
shall be protected against corrosion by at least an 
electrodeposited coating of nickel, or copper and 
nickel with at least a service condition number of 
SC2, and other attachment hardware shall be pro- 
tected by an electrodeposited coating of nickel, or 
copper and nickel with a service condition number 
of SCI, in accordance with American Society for 
Testing and Materials B456-79, "Standard 
Specification for Electrodeposited Coatings of Cop- 
per Plus Nickel Plus Chromium and Nickel Plus 
Chromium," but such hardware shall not be racked 
for electroplating in locations subjected to max- 
imum stress. 

***** 

5. The first sentence of SS.Kb) is revised to read 
as follows: 

S5.1 * * * 

(b) Breaking strength. Webbing from three seat 
belt assemblies shall be conditioned in accordance 
with paragraph (a) of this section and tested for 
breaking strength in a testing machine of capaci- 
ty verified to h&ve an error of not more than one 
percent in the range of the breaking strength of 
the webbing in accordance with American Society 
for Testing and Materials E4-79, "Standard 
Methods of Load Verification of Testing 

Machines." 

***** 

6. The first sentence of S5.1(f) is revised to read 
as follows: 



orists Test Method 30-81, "Fungicides Evaluation 
on Textiles; Mildew and Rot Resistance of Tex- 
tiles," and then subjected to Test I, "Soil Burial 
Test" of that test method. 

^ sp •?* V -1^ 

7. Paragraph (g) of S5.1 is revised to read as 
follows: 

'1* •?• *P ^I^ T^ 

S5.1 * * * 

(g) Colorfastness to crocking. Webbing from three 
seat belt assemblies shall be tested by the pro- 
cedure specified in American Association of Tex- 
tile Chemists and Colorists Standard Test Method 
8-181, "Colorfastness to Crocking: AATCC 

Crockmeter Method." 

***** 

8. Paragraph (h) of S5.1 is revised to read as 
follows: 

55.1 * * * 

(h) Colorfastness to staining. Webbing from three 
seat belt assemblies shall be tested by the pro- 
cedure specified in American Association of Tex- 
tile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Standard 
Test Method 107-1981, "Colorfastness to Water," 
except that the testing shall use (1) distilled water, 
(2) the AATCC perspiration tester, (3) a drying time 
of four hours, specified in section 7.4 of the AATCC 
procedure, and (4) section 9 of the AATCC test pro- 
cedures to determine the colorfastness to staining 

on the AATCC Chromatic Transference Scale. 

***** 

9. The first sentence of S5.2(a) is revised and a 
new sentence is added after the first sentence so 
that the two sentences read as follows: 

55.2 Hardware.— 

(a) Corrosion Resistance. Three seat belt 
assemblies shall be tested in accordance with 
American Society for Testing and Materials 
B117-73, "Standard Method of Salt Spray (Fog) 
Testing." Any surface coating or material not in- 
tended for permanent retention on the metal parts 
during service life shall be removed prior to 
preparation of the test specimens for 
testing. * * * 



S5.1 * * * 

(f) Resistance to microorganisms. Webbing at 
least 20 inches or 50 centimeters in length from 
three seat belt assemblies shall first be precondi- 
tioned in accordance with Appendix A(l) and (2) of 
American Association of Textile Chemists and Col- 



10. The first sentence of S5.2(b) is revised to read 
as follows: 
S5.2 Hardware. 

(b) Temperature resistance. Three seat belt 
assemblies having plastic or nonmetallic hardware 



PART 571; S209-PRE 28 



or having retractors shall be subjected to the con- 
ditions prescribed in Procedure D of American 
Society for Testing and Materials D756-78, "Stan- 
dard Practice for Determination of Weight and 
Shape Changes of Plastics under Accelerated Ser- 
vice Conditions." * * * 

***** 

11. The eighth sentence of S5.2(k) is revised to 

read as follows: 

***** 

S5.2 * * * 

(k) * * * Then, the retractor and webbing shall 
be subjected to dust in a chamber similar to one 
illustrated in Figure 8 containing about 2 pounds 
or 0.9 kilogram of coarse grade dust conforming to 
the specification given in Society of Automotive 
Engineering Recommended Practice J726, "Air 
Cleaner Test Code" Sept. 1979. * * * 

In § 571.5, paragraph fbX5) is redesignated (bX6) 
and a new paragraph (bX5) is added to read as 
follows: 



§ 571.5 Matter incorporated by reference. 

***** 

(b) * * * 

(5) Test methods of the American Association of 
Textile Chemists and Colorists. They are published 
by the American Association of Textile Chemists 
and Colorists. Information and copies can be ob- 
tained by writing to: American Association of Tex- 
tile Chemists and Colorists, Post Office Box 886, 

Durham, NC. 

(g\ * * * 

Issued on June 22, 1983 



Diane K. Steed, 
Acting Administrator. 

48 F.R. 30138 
June 30, 1983 



PART 571; S209-PRE 29-30 



i 



t 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 209 

Seat Belt Assemblies 
[Docket No. 8006; Notice 3] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Safety Standard 
No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies, to alter the test 
procedure specified under the "resistance to light" 
requirements of the standard. This amendment is 
intended to establish an equivalent strength test 
for both nylon and polyester webbing materials 
used in seat belt assemblies. This amendment 
changes the test apparatus for polyester fibers by 
replacing the currently specified "Corex D" filter 
with a chemically strengthened or tempered soda- 
lime glass filter. The "Corex D" filter would still be 
utilized in testing nylon webbing, since it offers 
the best correlation with actual outdoor results 
when dealing with nylon webbing material. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 18, 1985. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under Safe- 
ty Standard No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies (49 
CFR 571.209), seat belts must pass a "resistance to 
light" test (paragraph S4.2(e)). This test measures 
the strength and durability of the seat belt web- 
bing material after exposure to sunlight. The 
"resistance to light" test represents an ac- 
celerated determination of outdoor exposure or 
aging. A rapid form of testing is needed so that 
webbing may be certified in accordance with Stan- 
dard No. 209 and automotive companies' specifica- 
tions prior to shipment. 

On May 1, 1980, a Notice of Proposed Rule- 
making (45 PR 29102) was issued, proposing an 
amendment to the procedure to be used in "resis- 
tance to light" tests. The original standard called 
for a "Corex D" filter in testing webbing material. 
The "Corex D" filter was an adequate test appa- 



ratus prior to the introduction of polyester web- 
bing material for seat belts. Research had shown 
that although the specified test apparatus of a car- 
bon arc light source combined with a "Corex D" 
filter, in general, was an effective method of simu- 
lating the effects of sunlight, it did result in the 
emission of certain radiations that were unrepre- 
sentative of the actual effects of natural sunlight. 
These peculiar radiations, which destroyed polyes- 
ter but not nylon fibers, made the "Corex D" test 
procedure inappropriate for measuring the "resis- 
tance to light" requirements of seat belts contain- 
ing polyester webbing material. 

The proposed procedure replaced the required 
"Corex D" filter with a plain soda-lime glass filter 
in an attempt to create a similar, adequate testing 
for both nylon and polyester webbing material 
used in seat belt assemblies. Responses to that 
notice indicated that the proposed plain soda-lime 
glass filters were cracking either during the test 
cycle, due to the intense heat emitted during the 
100 hours of test time, or after the test period, 
during the cool down of the equipment. 

The Narrow Pabrics Institute, Inc. requested a 
delay in the rulemaking process in order to locate 
a less heat sensitive substitute. On September 16, 
1980, the agency informed the Narrow Pabrics In- 
stitute, Inc. that the rulemaking process would be 
delayed until the development of a filter more 
resistant to thermal shock. 

Upon completion of a 2-year search and a 1-year 
period of evaluation, the Narrow Pabrics Ins:i- 
tue submitted a revised test apparatus. The im- 
proved filter was a chemically strengthened or 
tempered soda-lime glass. Testing done by the 
agency under Contract No. DTNH-22-83-P-02016 
confirmed that the new filter maintained the same 



PART571;S209-PRE31 



light transmittance characteristics of the un- 
treated soda-lime glass filter originally proposed, 
but was free of the previous thermal shock prob- 
lems. The treated soda-lime glass filter produces 
an excellent correlation with actual outdoor 
results, for the proper accelerated degradation of 
polyester webbing, without the prior breakage dif- 
ficulties. 

A careful evaluation of data compiled over the 
past few years demonstrates that as to nylon web- 
bing material, the "Corex D" filter still affords the 
best correlation with actual outdoor results. In 
light of these various findings, the agency pro- 
posed on November 28, 1983 (48 FR 53583) to 
amend the test procedure to reflect these results. 

Four of the five commenters to the docket sup- 
ported the proposed amendment to Standard No. 
209. The other commenter, Renault, made two ob- 
jections. First, it argued that the carbon arc light 
used in Standard No. 209 is unrepresentative of 
real use conditions. It urges the use of an xenon 
lamp. As stated previously, the use of the carbon 
arc light with the appropriate filters produces ex- 
cellent correlation with actual outdoors test of the 
resistance to light capability of seat belts. The 
agency, therefore, does not believe it is necessary 
to propose an amendment to allow the use of an 
xenon lamp. 

Renault also said that Standard No. 209 should 
not use different test procedures for different 
materials. It recommended that the agency not re- 
quire the use of different filters, but instead 
specify the transmission band and spectral distri- 
bution of the radiation used in the test. Finally, 
Renault said that if the agency decides to require a 
filter, it should provide a more specific definition 
of the filter to be used in the testing. In particular, 
Renault asked that the agency specify the wave 
length of the light being used. 

The agency disagrees with Renault concerning 
the use of different filters in the resistance to light 
test. The carbon arc test equipment used in the re- 
sistance to light test is a well-established test pro- 
cedure that has been long used by the motor vehi- 
cle and seat belt industries. Tests conducted by 
the Narrow Fabrics Institute show that the carbon 
arc test equipment, when used with the appropri- 
ate filters, produces results comparable to actual 
outdoor resistance to light tests. Although the 
agency has decided to retain the use of the filters, 
it agrees with Renault that the specific charac- 
teristics of the new soda-lime filter need to be 



more precisely defined. The agency has obtained 
information on the transmittance of chemically 
strengthened soda-lime glass from the principal 
manufacturer of that device. Based on that infor- 
mation, the agency is amending the standard to 
specify the transmittance of the soda-lime glass to 
be used in the resistance to light test of polyester 
belts. 

Update References 

In the November 1983 notice, the agency pro- 
posed to update one of the American Society for 
Testing and Materials recommended practices in- 
corporated by reference in the standard. The pro- 
posal to incorporate ASTM G23-81 was not op- 
posed by the commenters and is therefore 
adopted. 

PART 571 -[AMENDED] 

In consideration of the foregoing, paragraph 
S5.1(e) of Safety Standard No. 209, Seat Belt 
Assemblies (49 CFR 571.209), is amended by re- 
vising paragraph (e) to read as follows: 
§571.209 Standard No. 209; seat belt assemblies. 

S5.1 * • * 

(e) Resistance to Light. Webbing at least 20 
inches or 50 centimeters in length from three seat 
belt assemblies shall be suspended vertically on 
the inside of the specimen rack in a Type E carbon- 
arc light-exposure apparatus described in Stan- 
dard Practice for Operating Light-Exposure Appa- 
ratus (Carbon-Arc Type) With and Without Water 
for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials, ASTM 
Designation: G23-81, published by the American 
Society for Testing and Materials, except that the 
filter used for 100 percent polyester yarns shall be 
chemically strengthened soda-lime glass with a 
transmittance of less than 5 percent for wave 
lengths equal to or less than 305 nanometers and 
90 percent or greater transmittance for wave 
lengths of 375 to 800 nanameters. The apparatus 
shall be operated without water spray at an air 
temperature of 60 ± 2 degrees Celsius or 140 ± 
3.6 degrees Fahrenheit measured at a point 1.0 ± 
0.2 inch or 25 ± 5 millimeters outside the speci- 
men rack and midway in height. The temperature 
sensing element shall be shielded from radiation. 
The specimens shall be exposed to light from the 
carbon-arc for 100 hours and then conditioned as 
prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section. The 
colorfastness of the exposed and conditioned speci- 
mens shall be determined on the Geometric Gray 



PART 571; S209-PRE 32 



Scale issued by the American Association of Tex- Issued on August 31, 1984. 

tile Chemists and Colorists. The breaking strength 
of the specimens shall be determined by the pro- 
cedure prescribed in paragraph (b) of this section. Diane K. Steed 
The median values for the breaking strengths de- Administrator 
termined on exposed and unexposed specimens 

shall be used to calculate the percentage of break- 49 pR 36507 

ing strength retained. September 18, 1984 



PART 571; S 209-PRE 33-34 



ti 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 
SAFETY STANDARD NO. 209 

Seat Belt Assemblies 
(Docket No. 74-14; Notice 53) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This final rule requires light trucks 
and light multipurpose passenger vehicles (e.g., 
utility vehicles capable of off-road use and van- 
type passenger vehicles) equipped with manual 
lap shoulder safety belts for the front outboard 
seats to comply with the injury reduction criteria 
of Standard No. 208. Occupant Craf^h Protection, in' 
a 30 mile per hour barrier crash test. This rule also 
responds to dummy positioning issues raised in 
petitions for reconsideration of the final rule 
adopting the use of the Hybrid III dummy. 

The vehicles subject to this final rule are those 
with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 
8,500 pounds or less and an unloaded vehicle 
weight of 5.500 pounds or less. Thus, this final rule 
will require the vast majority of multipurpose 
passenger vehicles and light trucks to meet the 
new manual belt performance requirements of the 
standard. 

The GVWR and unloaded weight limits adopted 
in today's final rule will avoid imposing a testing 
and paperwork burden on most small businesses 
that either install a body on a chassis manufactured 
by another company or alter vehicles previously 
certified by other manufacturers. NHTSA is 
limiting the effects of this rule on small businesses 
to the extent possible, because most small businesses 
do not have the technical and financial resources 
necessary to do the testing or engineering analysis 
needed to determine whether their completed 
vehicles will meet the requirements of the new 
dynamic test for safety belts. 

The dynamic test requirement will go into effect 
for multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks 
with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8.500 pounds 
or less and an unloaded vehicle weight of 5,500 
pounds or less beginning on September 1. 1991. 
Unlike the dynamic test requirement for manual 
safety belts in passenger cars, the rule adopted 
today is not conditional. The requirement for cars 
with manual safety belts is conditional in that it 
becomes effective only if the automatic restraint 
requirement for cars is rescinded as a result of the 
enactment of State safety belt use laws covering 
two-thirds of the U.S. population and meeting 
criteria set forth in Standard No. 208. 



DATES: The amendments made by this final rule 
are effective on May 23, 1988. Multipurpose 
passenger vehicles and trucks with a gross vehicle 
weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less and an 
unloaded vehicle weight of 5,500 pounds or less 
must comply with the dynamic testing require- 
ments of S4.6 of Standard No. 208 beginning on 
September 1. 1991. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 12, 
1985 (50 FR 14589), NHTSA published a notice, 
which is the basis for the final rule being issued 
today, proposing a number of amendments to 
Standard No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection. 
Among the proposals was one that manual lap/ 
shoulder belts installed at the front outboard 
seating positions of four different vehicle types 
comply with the dynamic testing requirements of 
Standard No. 208. That notice proposed to use test 
dummies in 30 mile per hour barrier crash tests to 
measure the level of protection offered by the 
vehicle's manual lap/shoulder safety belts. (The 
same test conditions and procedures are used for 
testing the protection provided by automatic 
restraint systems, such as automatic safety belts 
and air bags, in passenger cars.) The four vehicle 
types subject to this proposal were passenger cars 
and light trucks, buses, and multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles, i.e., trucks, buses, and multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 
pounds or less and an unloaded vehicle weight of 
5,500 pounds or less. On March 21, 1986 (51 FR 
9800), NHTSA adopted a dynamic test requirement 
for manual lap/shoulder safety belts in the front 
outboard seats in passenger cars. The dynamic test 
requirement for manual lap/shoulder belts in 
passenger cars will go into effect on September 1, 
1989, if the automatic restraint requirement is 
rescinded as a result of the enactment of State 
safety belt use laws covering two-thirds of the U.S. 
population and meeting criteria set forth in 
Standard No. 208. 

This final rule adopts adynamic test requirement 
for the lap shoulder safety belts installed in the 
front outboard seating positions of light trucks and 
multipurpose passenger vehicles. Several of the 
issues discussed with respect to those vehicle types 
in this final rule, such as the adjustment that will 



PART 571; S209-PRE 35 



be made to safety belt tension-relieving devices 
prior to the crash test, have already been discussed 
with respect to passenger cars in prior agency final 
rules. To assist readers in understanding all of the 
effects of the new dynamic test requirement for 
safety belts in light trucks and multipurpose 
passenger vehicles, those discussions have been 
repeated in this final rule. 

Dynamic testing of manual safety belts 

Most of the commenters favored adopting a 
dynamic test requirement for manual belts, at 
least as to passenger cars, although many of those 
commenters raised questions about the leadtime 
needed to comply with the requirement. Those 
opposing the requirement argued that the field 
experience has shown that current manual safety 
belts provide substantial protection and thus a 
dynamic test requirement is not necessary. In 
addition, they argued that dynamic testing would 
substantially increase a manufacturer's testing 
costs and workload and could pose problems for 
final-stage manufacturers and vehicle alterers. 

As discussed in detail below, the agency has now 
decided to adopt a dynamic test requirement for 
manual lap/shoulder belts in the front outboard 
seats of light trucks and light multipurpose 
passenger vehicles, which include such vehicles as 
light vans and light utility vehicles. To reduce 
potential problems for final-stage vehicle man- 
ufacturers and vehicle alterers, the agency is 
limiting the dynamic test requirement to vehicles 
which have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) 
of 8,500 pounds or less and an unloaded vehicle 
weight of 5.500 pounds or less. The requirement 
will go into effect for light trucks and light multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles on September 1, 1991. 

The agency has decided not to apply a dynamic 
test requirement to buses at this time. Standard 
No. 208 only requires the installation of a safety 
belt for the driver of a bus and gives manufacturers 
the option of installing either a lap safety belt or a 
lap/shoulder safety belt for the driver. The agency 
is concerned that applying a dynamic test re- 
quirement to a lap shoulder belt that is voluntarily 
installed in a bus might encourage manufacturers 
to replace the lap/shoulder belt with a less costly 
lap belt, which would not be subject to a dynamic 
test requirement. Today's final rule should, how- 
ever, also work to improve the safety of van-type 
buses since many of those vehicles are based on a 
chassis that is the same as or similar to the chassis 
used in light van-type multipurpose passenger 
vehicles that will be covered bv the dynamic test 



^ 



requirement. (Under the agency's regulations, a ^ 
bus is a vehicle that carries more than 10 persons. 
Thus, a van-type vehicle with four rows of seats 
that carries 12-15 people would be classified as a 
bus. Under the agency's regulations, a multipurpose 
passenger vehicle is a vehicle that is designed to 
carry 10 or less persons and is either built on a 
truck chassis or has features for occasional off-road 
use. Thus, a passenger van-type vehicle that is 
designed to carry 9 or fewer persons would be 
considered a multipurpose passenger vehicle.) 

The issues raised by the commenters and the 
reasons for the agency's decisions are discussed 
below. 

Safety need 

As mentioned previously, most of the commenters 
favored the adoption of a dynamic test requirement 
for manual safety belt systems. The commenters 
favoring adoption of the requirement were the 
American Seat Belt Council, Center for Auto 
Safety, General Motors, Insurance Institute for 
Highway Safety, Mercedes-Benz, National Trans- 
portation Safety Board, Porsche, State Farm 
Mutual Insurance Co., and Volkswagen. In ex- 
pressing their support for dynamic testing, the 
commenters generally did not distinguish between fl 
dynamic testing of safety belts in passenger cars 
and dynamic testing of safety belts in light trucks, 
buses and multipu»spose passenger vehicles. The 
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, 
did specifically address the dynamic testing of 
safety belts in vehicles other than passenger cars. 
It said that "requiring the dynamic testing of 
manual belts would result in the upgrading of the 
crash performance of many vehicles, including 
light trucks, vans, and utility vehicles, for which 
automatic restraint requirements have not yet 
been proposed." 

The proposed dynamic test requirement was 
opposed by American Motors Corporation (AMC), 
Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, the Motor Vehicle Man- 
ufacturers Association (MVMA), and Toyota. In 
addition, Peugeot and Renault requested the agency 
to adopt a laboratory test procedure used by the 
Economic Commission for Europe rather than use 
a vehicle crash test to measure the dynamic per- 
formance of safety belts. 

In questioning the safety need for dynamic 
testing, AMC, Chrysler, Ford, and MVMA said 
that current field data do not show a need for 
dynamic testing. Ford said that available crash i 
data indicate "occupants of full-size light trucks " 
are exposed to less risk of collision injuries than 



PART 571; S209-PRE 36 



occupants of either passenger cars or compact 
trucks. Moreover, full-size light trucks are far 
j\ more likely to collide with smaller, lighter vehicles 
' than with vehicles whose mass is comparable to or 
greater than that of such trucks." (In its comments. 
Ford explained that it used the term "full-size light 
truck" to mean trucks, such as its F-Series/ Bronco 
and Econoline vehicles, that have derivatives with 
GVWR's greater than 8,500 pounds.) In addition. 
Ford said that a "30 mph fixed barrier test 
requirement represents an unrealistically severe 
test for many full-size light trucks because they 
weigh much more than typical passenger cars" and 
full-size light trucks "are not likely to experience 
an impact of 30 mph barrier equivalent velocity on 
the highway." 

The agency strongly agrees with the commenters 
that current manual safety belts provide very 
substantial protection in a crash. The Department's 
1984 occupant protection decision concluded that 
current manual safety belts, when worn, are at 
least as effective, and in some cases, more effective 
than current automatic belt designs. That con- 
clusion was based on current manual safety belts, 
which are not certified to dynamic tests. However, 
as discussed in the April 1985 notice, the agency is 
concerned that as more tension-relieving devices 
are used on manual belts and as an increasing 
1 1 number of vehicles are reduced in size, the potential 
for occupant injury may increase. The agency is 
particularly concerned about ensuring the safety 
performance of belt systems used in the popular 
series of new compact trucks, utility vehicles, and 
minivans. The agency's concerns about ensuring 
adequate safety performance are substantiated by 
laboratory crash tests of current light trucks and 
multipurpose passenger vehicles. Each of these 
issues is addressed in more detail below. 

Crash test performance of current vehicles 

To evaluate the safety performance of current 
light trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles, the agency has examined the results of 20 
crash tests at 30 mph. In the 30 mph tests, only five 
of the 20 vehicles tested met both Standard No. 
208's head injury criterion (HIC) and chest ac- 
celeration criterion at the driver and front right 
seat passenger positions. (In four other tests, at 
least one of the test dummies met both the HIC and 
chest acceleration criteria.) These test results 
suggest that the agency's concerns about ensuring 
adequate safety performance of these vehicles are 
not unfounded. 

In addition, the agency has conducted 16 addi- 
tional tests of those vehicles at 35 mph as a part of 



its experimental New Car Assessment Program 
(NCAP). The agency is aware of the fact that 
NC A? testing exposes vehicles to 36 percent greater 
crash forces than the 30 mph test. Because of these 
significantly higher crash forces, the agency has 
repeatedly stated that the fact that a vehicle did not 
comply with the Standard No. 208 criteria in an 
NCAP test should not be interpreted as implying 
that the vehicle would not comply with Standard 
No. 208 if it were tested in accordance with that 
Standard; i.e., subjected to a 30 mph frontal barrier 
crash. Although NCAP data alone would not in- 
dicate a basis for the agency's concern, they do, in 
this case, correlate reasonably well with the 30 
mph test data. In the 35 mph tests, only three of the 
16 vehicles tested met Standard No. 2b8's HIC and 
chest acceleration criteria at both front seating 
positions. (In four other tests, at least one of the test 
dummies met both the HIC and chest acceleration 
criteria.) 

In addition to these test results, an analysis of 
fatalities in crashes of the various vehicle types in 
frontal impacts supports the agency's concerns 
about extending dynamic testing requirements to 
these additional groups of vehicles. Even though 
the analysis of fatalities shows that the fatality 
rates per million registered vehicles were nearly 
identical in 1985 for passenger cars and light 
trucks, at 86.9 and 80.4 respectively (see Table 6 of 
NHTSA's May. 1987 Report to Congress entitled 
"Light Truck and Van Safety"), some types of light 
trucks, especially compact pick-up trucks, had 
higher fatality rates. This rule will ensure adequate 
safety performance for all types of light trucks and 
multipurpose passenger vehicles, in the same way 
that Standard No. 208 now ensures adequate 
safety performance for all types of passenger cars. 

Downsizing 

Ford agreed with the agency that downsizing "is 
certainly evident in the new smaller pickup trucks, 
utility vehicles and minivans," but said that down- 
sizing is "not evident in full-size pickups, MPV's, 
vans or buses. We do not expect any significant 
reduction in the size of full-size trucks, buses or 
MPV's in the foreseeable future." Ford also said 
that "downsizing has not affected interior geometry 
and thus, is not a valid rationale for requiring 
dynamic testing of belts." 

The agency agrees with Ford that in their 
downsizingefforts, manufacturers have attempted 
to preserve the interior space of their vehicles, 
while reducing their exterior dimensions. Pre- 
serving the interior dimensions of the passenger 
compartment means that occupants will not be 



PART 571; S209-PRE 37 



placed closer to instrument panels and other vehicle 
structures which they could strike in a crash. 
However, the reduction in exterior dimensions in 
the new lines of compact trucks, utility and van- 
like vehicles can result in a lessening of the 
protective crush distance available in those vehicles. 
The reduction in crush space may mean that 
occupants may be subject to a higher degree of risk 
in downsized vehicles, even if the interior dimen- 
sions of the vehicle are the same as or similar to the 
dimensions of the older, full-size vehicle. Thus, the 
agency believes it is important to require dynamic 
testing to ensure that safety belts in downsized 
vehicles will perform adequately. 

Ford raised another issue associated, in part, 
with downsizing; Ford said that because of the 
differences in vehicle weights, when light trucks 
and van-like vehicles strike passenger cars, the 
heavier truck or van-like vehicle will experience 
lower changes in velocity and thus will likely 
expose their occupants to less violent crash condi- 
tions. NHTSA agrees that this will be particularly 
true for the heavier vehicles excluded from the 
dynamic test requirement, which will experience a 
far lower change in velocity in an impact with a 
lighter passenger car. However, the change in 
velocity in impacts between a passenger car and a 
compact truck or multipurpose passenger vehicle, 
which represent most of the vehicles covered by 
today's final rule, will be similar. Thus, the crash 
test does not represent an overly severe test for 
lighter trucks and multipurpose passenger vehicles. 
In addition, the light trucks and van-like vehicles 
covered by today's rule also are involved in crashes 
with heavier vehicles and solid objects, such as 
trees and bridge abutments, which will result in 
high crash forces for these light vehicles. NHTSA 
believes that occupants of these light trucks and 
multipurpose passenger vehicles should be assured 
of the same level of protection as passenger car 
occupants in those crashes. 

Webbing tension-relieving devices 

The April 1985 notice explained that the agency 
was also concerned about the possible misuse of 
tension-relieving devices on manual belts. Tension- 
relieving devices are used to introduce slack in the 
shoulder portion of a lap/shoulder belt to reduce 
the pressure of the belt on an occupant or to effect a 
more comfortable "fit" of the belt to an occupant. 
The agency believed that the trend toward use of 
tension-relieving devices was another reason for 
requiring dynamic tests of safety belts. While 
recognizing that such devices could make belts 
more comfortable, thus increasing usage, the 



agency was also concerned that vehicle occupants 
may use the tension-relieving device to introduce 
too much slack in the safety belt and thus reduce its 
protection capability. 

The notice proposed that manufacturers be 
required to specify in the owner's manuals for their 
vehicles the maximum amount of slack they 
recommend introducing into the belt under normal 
use conditions. Further, the owner's manual would 
be required to warn that introducing slack beyond 
the maximum amount specified by the manu- 
facturer could significantly reduce the effectiveness 
of the belt in a crash. During the agency's dynamic 
testing of manual belts, the tension-relieving 
devices would be adjusted so as to introduce the 
maximum amount of slack specified in the owner's 
manual. 

With the exception of Ford, those manufacturers 
who commented on the proposal concerning 
tension-relieving devices supported testing safety 
belts adjusted so that they have the amount of slack 
recommended by the manufacturer in the owner's 
manual. Ford said that requiring any slack to be 
introduced into the belt system would increase the 
variability of the dynamic test procedure, and thus 
reduce the objectivity of the test. Ford said that it 
might have to eliminate all tension-relieving 
devices for its safety belts. 

The agency's proposed test procedure was in- 
tended to accommodate tension-relieving devices 
since, as noted above, they can increase the comfort 
of lap/shoulder safety belts, which in turn, should 
increase usage. At the same time, the proposal 
would limit the potential reduction in effectiveness 
for safety belts systems with excessive slack. The 
agency does not agree that this test procedure need 
result in the elimination of tension-relieving devices 
from the marketplace. As mentioned earlier, all 
the other manufacturers addressing this proposal 
supported it and did not indicate they would have 
to remove tension-relieving devices from their belt 
systems.' 

In addition. Ford did not provide any data 
showing that the variability of the tests will increase 
because of the new requirement. In particular. 
Ford did not show that injury levels cannot be 
controlled within the specified injury criteria by 
testing with the recommended amount of slack, as 
determined by the manufacturer. A manufacturer 
has the option of recommending that a very limited 
amount of slack be introduced into its safety belts 
to ensure that the injury reduction criteria of 
Standard No. 208 would be met with the slackened 
safety belt. The agency notes that as a practical 
matter, most tension relievers automatically in- 
troduce some slack into the belt for all occupants. 



PART 571; S209-PRE 38 



Testing without such slack would be unrealistic, 
since it would not represent how vehicle occupants 
will wear the safety belt in their vehicles. 

CFASand NTSB raised another objection about 
the proposed requirement. They objected to the 
proposal that manual belt systems using tension- 
relieving devices meet the injury criteria with only 
the specified amount of slack recommended in the 
owner's manual. They stated that most owners 
would not read the instructions in the owner's 
manual regarding the proper use of the tension- 
relieving device. They said an occupant could have 
a false sense of adequate restraint when wearing a 
belt system adjusted beyond the recommended 
limit. 

The agency's views on allowing the use of tension- 
relievers in safety belts were detailed in the April 
1985 notice. The agency specifically noted the 
effectiveness of a safety belt system could be 
compromised if excessive slack were introduced 
into the belt. However, the agency recognizes that 
a belt system must be used to be effective at all. 
Allowing manufacturers to install tension-relieving 
devices makes it possible for an occupant to 
introduce a small amount of slack to relieve 
shoulder belt pressure or to divert the belt away 
from the neck. As a result, safety belt use is 
promoted. This factor should outweigh any loss in 
effectiveness due to the introduction of a recom- 
mended amount of slack in normal use. This is 
particularly likely in view of the requirement that 
the belt system, as adjusted, must meet the injury 
criteria of Standard No. 208 under 30 mph test 
conditions. Further, the agency believes that the 
inadvertent introduction of slack into a belt system, 
which is beyond that for normal use, is unlikely in 
most current systems. 

Feasibility 

In questioning the feasibility of meeting the 
requirements in full-size vehicles. Ford said it 
knew of no test data indicating that any vehicle in 
the full-size bus/multipurpose passenger vehicle 
class can meet the proposed requirements. Ford 
also said it was unsure whether modifying its 
vehicles to meet the dynamic test requirement 
might require it to stiffen the front end of the 
vehicles or develop a less stiff front end that "could 
preclude concurrent compliance to the 212 219 
standards." Finally, Ford said that the dynamic 
test requirement "would be complicated by the 
broad range of vehicles produced with a variety of 
interchangeable parts." In particular, it said that 



high GVWR vehicles have different vehicle and 
dummy movement than the lower GVWR models 
from which the high GVWR vehicles are derived. 
Ford said that these "differences argue against 
requiring lower GVWR derivatives to meet the 
injury criteria, because such a requirement may 
jeopardize the commonality of body components 
across the truck line and the truck's function and 
may even adversely affect the occupant protection 
offered in higher GVWR trucks." Fiat and Toyota 
also said that it is more difficult to design light 
trucks and van-like vehicles to conform to a dynamic 
test requirement and asked the agency to exclude 
those vehicles from the proposed requirement. 

As discussed in the regulatory evaluation for this 
rulemaking action, the agency has examined test 
results of light trucks, buses, and multipurpose 
passenger vehicles at both 30 and 35 mph. Those 
results show that it is possible for the heavier light 
trucks and vans to meet the HIC, femur load, and 
chest acceleration criteria. The test results from 
the agency's 30 mph tests show that the Ford F-250 
pickup truck, with a test weight of 4,866 pounds, 
and a Ford R-lOO pickup truck, with a test weight 
of 3, 163 pounds, met the HIC and chest acceleration 
requirements. The heaviest vehicle tested in the 30 
mph crashes, a Ford P-500 van with a test weight 
of 5,796 pounds, met the HIC and chest acceleration 
criteria for the driver; the data for the passenger 
are not available. The results also show that a 
Chevrolet K-10 pickup truck with a test weight of 
5,401 pounds, met the head injury criterion, and 
met the chest acceleration criterion for the pas- 
senger; the data on the chest acceleration criterion 
for the driver are not available. 

Even at higher speeds, heavier vehicles can meet 
the dynamic test. For example, NHTSA has 
examined its NCAP test results and identified two 
heavier vehicles that met the proposed require- 
ments in 35 mph tests, which involve 36 percent 
more energy than the 30 mph crash test that will be 
used in dynamic testing of safety belts. Those 
vehicles are a Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck, with a 
test weight of 4,830 pounds, and a Toyota Van- 
Wagon, with a test weight of 3,616 pounds. Those 
vehicles were also tested and found to meet 
Standard No. 212, Windshield Retention. Although 
these results indicate that the requirements are 
feasible, the agency recognizes that manufacturers 
will need additional leadtime to develop and 
produce the necessary design changes that must be 
made to bring the rest of their vehicles into 
compliance. 



PART 571; S209-PRE 39 



Aggressivity 

Ford and M VM A argued that the aggressivity of 
these vehicles may increase because of design 
changes required to meet the proposed standard 
(aggressivity refers to the possibility of increasing 
the stiffness of a vehicle so that when it strikes 
another vehicle, the stiffened vehicle inflicts greater 
damage on the struck vehicle than it would other- 
wise have done.) However, neither commenter 
provided data showing that these vehicles would 
necessarily become more aggressive. NHTSA 
analysis of existing NC AP data shows that softening 
rather than stiffening the front structure of a 
.vehicle can improve its crash performance without 
increasing its aggressivity. (See the results pre; 
sented in "A Review of the Effects of Belt Systems, 
Steering Assemblies, and Structural Design on the 
Safety Performance of Vehicles in the New Car 
Assessment Program." Hackney and Ellyson, Tenth 
International Technical Conference on Experi- 
mental Safety Vehicles. 1985.) 

Effect on final-stage manufacturers and alterers 

Ford and M VM A also raised questions about the 
effect of dynamic testing of full-size light trucks on 
final-stage manufacturers and vehicle alterers. 
Ford said that final-stage manufacturers, such as 
van converters, who install their own seats in a 
vehicle could not rely on the incomplete vehicle 
manufacturer's testing to certify compliance 
because changes in the seat or belt mounting could 
invalidate the results of the prior dynamic testing. 
Likewise, Ford said final-stage manufacturers 
that add additional equipment to a vehicle could be 
affected since Ford "would most likely have to 
recommend stringent limitations on vehicle weight 
distribution and center of gravity height in order 
that our crash test results might be approximately 
representative of the results obtained in tests of the 
vehicles as completed or altered." 

After examining this issue, the agency agrees 
that dynamic testing of safety belts can pose a 
problem for final-stage manufacturers and vehicle 
alterers. NHTSA believes that these parties do not 
generally have the necessary technical and financial 
resources to do the vehicle testing or engineering 
analysis necessary to determine if the safety belts 
in their altered vehicles meet the dynamic test 
requirements. Accordingly, this rule limits the 
effects on these small businesses to the extent 
possible. NHTSA has obtained information from 
the Truck Body and Equipment Association which 
indicates that 90-95 percent of multi-stage man- 



ufacturers among its members use vehicles with a 
G VWR of greater than 8,500 pounds. To reduce the |b 
potential problem for final-stage manufacturers " 
and alterers, the agency has decided to limit the 
applicability of the dynamic test requirement to 
vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 
pounds or less and an unloaded vehicle weight of 
5,500 pounds or less. 

As another approach to limiting the effect of the 
rule on final-stage manufacturers, the agency had 
proposed to exclude motor homes. Most, if not all. 
motor homes, with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or 
less, are. built on a van cutaway chassis, which 
consists of the front end and chassis of a van. The 
number of such vehicles is limited. For example, in 
1985, approximately 28,000 van cutaway chassis 
were used for motor homes. No commenter opposed 
the proposed exclusion of motor homes and it is 
thus adopted in the final rule. The agency also 
proposed to exclude open-body type vehicles, walk- 
in van-type trucks, vehicles designed exclusively to 
be sold to the U.S. Postal Service and vehicles 
carrying chassis-mount campers. These exclusions 
were also not opposed and are therefore adopted in 
today's final rule. 

Applying the dynamic test requirement to 
vehicles with a GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less and 
an unloaded vehicle weight of 5,500 pounds or less j 
will cover the vast majority of light trucks and 
multipurpose passenger vehicles. The agency 
projects that for model year 1992, there will be 
sales of 4.4 million vehicles, other than passenger 
cars, with a GVWR of up to 10,000 pounds. Of those 
vehicles, approximately 3.8 million will have a 
GVWR of 8.500 pounds or less. The remaining 0.6 
million, which represent approximately 14 percent 
of the total, will have a GVWR in the 8.501 to 10,000 
pound range. The dynamic test requirement 
adopted today should also have a safety benefit for 
the vehicles in the 8,501 to 10.000 pound GVWR 
range. Many of these vehicles are derived from 
vehicles with a GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less. The 
type of structural and safety belt system changes 
made to the vehicles covered by today's final rule 
should also benefit occupants in the derivative 
vehicles. 

Forward control vehicles 

GM said that it had limited data on the ability of 
forward control vehicles to meet a dynamic 
performance test. GM said that, based on engineer- 
ing studies, it believes that the limited crush space 
in those vehicles may not make it possible to meet 
the proposed requirements, at least not by the 
proposed September 1, 1989 effective date. 



PART 571; S209-PRE 40 



In supplemental comments filed with the agency, 
. GM said it was also concerned about the ability of 
I some forward control-type vehicles to meet the 
proposed requirements. GM explained that those 
forward control-type vehicles do not meet the 
agency's definition of forward control, but do have 
the same or similar limited crush space. (Part 
571.3 of the agency's regulations define a forward 
control vehicle as a vehicle in which at least half the 
engine is located rearward of the windshield and 
the steering wheel is located in the front quarter of 
the vehicle.) GM further explained that two of its 
three series of light trucks and multipurpose 
passenger vehicles are forward control vehicles 
that meet the agency's definition of that term. 
Those two forward control vehicle series are the G 
series vans, which are full-size vans, and the P 
series vehicles, which consist of either a completed 
walk-in van-type vehicle or a chassis that is com- 
pleted by final-stage manufacturers into walk-in 
van-type vehicles, such as parcel delivery trucks. 
In the case of its M series vehicles, which are 
minivans, GM said that while those vehicles do not 
meet the agency's definition of forward control, 
they are forward control type vehicles. 

GM's submission contained data from two 30 
mph crash tests of the M series vehicles using 
I Hybrid III test dummies, in which some of the 
f HIC. chest acceleration and chest deflection 
readings exceeded the values set in Standard No. 
208. GM said that "These type of test results are to 
be anticipated from vehicle decelerations which do 
not benefit significantly from energ\- dissipation 
due to frontal crush. Further, a greater amount of 
passenger compartment deformation would be 
expected in barrier tests of forward control type 
vehicles, another factor that probably contributed 
to the observed injury criteria values." GM also 
noted that the agency's NO AP test results for the M 
series van also showed the difficulty of meeting 
Standard No. 208's test requirements in those 
vehicles. GM suggested that the agency consider 
establishingother injury criteria levels for forward 
control type vehicles or excluding those vehicles 
from the dynamic test requirement. GM also 
requested NHTSA to consider revising the agency's 
definition of forward control vehicle. 

The agency recognizes that because of the smaller 
amount of frontal crush space available in forward 
control and forward control type vehicles, it is 
more difficult to provide occupant crash protection 
in frontal crashes of those vehicles. However, there 
• is information showing that those vehicles can be 
I designed to meet the performance requirements of 
" Standard No. 208. In its NCAP program, the 



agency has tested a 1984 Toyota Van, which is a 
forward control vehicle, in a 35 mph barrier 
impact test. In that test, which is a more severe test 
than the 30 mph barrier impact used in Standard 
No. 208, both the driver and passenger test 
dummies did not exceed the HIC and chest ac- 
celeration limits set in the standard. The femur 
loads for the driver did exceed the limit in Standard 
No. 208, but the passenger's femur loads were well 
below the limit. NHTSA believes that with the 
longer leadtime provided by this notice, man- 
ufacturers can adopt appropriate changes to enable 
forward control and forward control type vehicles 
to meet the performance requirement of Standard 
No. 208. Therefore, the agency has decided not to 
exempt forward control or forward control type 
vehicles from the dynamic test requirement. 

Dummy positioning in light trucks 

In its comments. Ford expressed concern about 
whether the test dummy positioning procedure 
used in passenger cars can be used in light trucks. 
In particular, Ford said that the more upright seat 
backs found in some light trucks might prevent use 
of the current positioning procedure. 

To address Ford's concern, the agency recently 
conducted a test series at its Vehicle Research and 
Test Center in which the agency examined twenty- 
four different light trucks, vans, and utility vehicles 
to identify any problems in positioning a SAE H- 
point machine, which is a manikin representing 
the weight and dimensions of a 50th percentile 
male, and a Hybrid III test dummy in those 
vehicles. The vehicles chosen represented five 
different vehicle categories: compact and full-size 
light trucks, compact multipurpose passenger 
vehicles, minivans, and full-size vans. 

Based on its examination and testing of the 
vehicles, the agency concluded that the SAE H- 
point machine could be positioned in 15 of the 
vehicles without any actual or expected difficulty. 
In the remaining 9 vehicles, the agency did 
experience some difficulty in positioning the left 
leg of the H-point machine. However, NHTSA was 
successful in ultimately positioning the H-point 
machine in each of the vehicles. The difficulty was 
caused by the presence of large engine covers in 
van-type vehicles and a large transmission tunnel 
in a full-size truck. In those vehicles, the engine 
cover or transmission tunnel protruded into the 
passenger's footspace and reduced the space avail- 
able for placement of the left leg of the H-point 
machine. In three vehicles the agency had to 
remove the left leg of the H-point machine in order 



PART 571; S209-PRE 41 



to be able to position the manikin in the passenger's 
seat. As long as the weight represented by the left 
leg is added to the manikin, the agency does not 
believe that removal of the left leg will affect the 
determination of the H-point. 

Based on its examination and testing, the agency 
concluded that the Hybrid III test dummy could be 
positioned in 15 of the vehicles without any actual 
or expected difficulty. In nine of the vehicles in 
which the agency identified potential problems, 
the agency was able to position a Hybrid III test 
dummy in each of those vehicles using the existing 
positioning procedure. In each of those vehicles, 
the agency was able to meet the H-point orientation, 
pelvic angle and head orientation specifications set 
for the Hybrid III in Standard No. 208. (A copy of 
the results for the VRTC testing has been placed in 
the General Reference section of Docket 74-14.) 

As a result of the test series, the agency is 
adopting one change in the positioning procedure 
for the Hybrid III. During the tests, NHTSA 
experienced a problem in placing the Hybrid III in 
vehicles that had very upright seats with non- 
adjustable seatbacks. In those vehicles, it was 
necessary to level the head of the test dummy by 
adjusting the lower neck bracket of the test dummy. 
The effect of adjusting the neck bracket is to move 
the head slightly rearward. 

To ensure consistency in the placement of the 
head when positioning the test dummy in an 
upright seat with a non-adjustable back, the agency 
is adopting a sequence of positioning procedures it 
will follow in adjusting a test dummy in such a seat 
to level its head. The agency will first adjust the 
position of the H-point within the limits set forth in 
the standard in an effort to level the head of the test 
dummy. If that approach is not successful, the 
agency will then adjust the pelvic angle of the test 
dummy, again within the limits provided in the 
standard. If the head is still not level, the agency 
will then adjust the neck bracket the minimum 
amount necessary to level the head. By setting out 
this sequence, the agency expects to reduce the 
possibility that different testingorganizations will 
position the test dummy in substantially different 
ways in an effort to level the head of the test 
dummy. 

Petitions for reconsideration regarding Hybrid Hi 
positioning 

Subsequent to issuance of the July 25, 1986 (51 
FR 26688) final rule adopting the use of the Hybrid 
III test dummy, a number of manufacturers filed 
petitions for reconsideration. A number of the 



issues raised in those petitions for reconsideration 
involved the positioning of the Hybrid III test 
dummy. NHTSA has decided to address the 
positioning issues in this notice, since they affect 
the positioning procedures that can be used in 
testing light trucks. At a later date, the agency will 
address the remaining petitions for reconsideration 
of the final rule on the Hybrid III test dummy. 

Use of different test dummies In different tests 

In its petition for reconsideration, the Motor 
Vehicle Manufacturers Association (M VM A) asked 
NHTSA to clarify a statement the agency made on 
the use of the Hybrid III in non-instrumented 
testing, such as the comfort and convenience testing. 
M VMA said that it was unclear from the agency's 
statement in the preamble to the July 25, 1986 final 
rule whether either test dummy can be used, at the 
manufacturer's option, to test for compliance with 
the comfort and convenience requirements, re- 
gardless of which test dummy is used in the barrier 
crash test. 

NHTS A's intention was to allow manufacturers, 
at their option, to specify the use of either test 
dummy in the instrumented tests and also to 
permit manufacturers to specify the use of either 
test dummy in the non-instrumented tests of the 
standard. Thus, a manufacturer can specify the 
use of a Hybrid III in the crash test and a Part 572 
Subpart B test dummy in the comfort and con- 
venience tests. The July 1986 rule did, however, 
make clear that manufacturers will only have the 
option of using either test dummy until September 
1, 1991. At that time, the use of the Hybrid III is 
mandatory for testing passenger cars to the in- 
strumented and non-instrumented testing require- 
ments of Standard No. 208. (Throughout this 
preamble, the agency refers to the currently 
specified September 1, 1991 date for mandatory 
use of the Hybrid III test dummy for compliance 
testing of passenger cars. The agency would like to 
note that this mandatory use date was the subject 
of numerous petitions for reconsideration. The 
agency is evaluating those petitions at this time, 
and will announce its decision on any change to 
that mandatory use date when it responds to those 
petitions). 

In its petition, MVMA also noted that the latch- 
plate access portion of the comfort and convenience 
requirement needs to be modified to accommodate 
the use of the Hybrid III test dummy in that test. To 
determine whether a car complies with that 
requirement, the standard uses two reach strings 
attached to the test dummv. To demonstrate com- 



PART 571; S209-PRE 42 



pliance, a manufacturer must show that a stowed 
latchplate is located within the arcs generated by 
moving the ends of the strings attached to the test 
dummy. MVMA said that its "comparison of the 
physical characteristics of the two dummies in- 
dicates that there is a significant difference in the 
seated attitude of the two dummies and in the 
respective positions of the two dummies' heads." 
These differences mean that arcs generated by 
using the two test dummies are different. 

MVMA is correct that the requirements of the 
standard need to be amended. The positioning of 
the reach strings shown in Figure 3 of the standard 
is based on the seated position of a Part 572 
Subpart B test dummy. Since the Hybrid III has a 
slightly different seated position, it is necessary to 
specify different locations for attaching the reach 
strings on a Hybrid HI test dummy. NHTSA has 
amended the standard to set out the attachment 
locations for the latchplate access test strings on a 
Part 572 Subpart B test dummy in Figure 3 A and 
the attachment locations on a Hybrid HI test 
dummy in Figure 3 B. 

Use of different test dummies in the same test 

In its petition for reconsideration, Renault asked 
the agency to permit manufacturers to specify the 
use of different test dummies at different seating 
positions in the same crash test. As discussed 
above, NHTSA believes that prior to September 1, 
1991, manufacturers should have the option of 
choosing which of the test dummies they will use to 
certify that their vehicles meet the requirements of 
Standard No. 208. Thus, prior to September 1, 
1991. a manufacturer may choose to use, for 
example, a Hybrid HI at the driver's seating 
position and a Part 572 Subpart B test dummy at 
the passenger's seating position. On or after 
September 1, 1991, manufacturers' certifications 
must be based on the use of the Hybrid HI in the 
driver's and front right outboard seating position 
is mandatory in passenger car testing. As discussed 
below, the agency has decided to permit the use of 
either the Part 572 Subpart B test dummy or the 
Hybrid HI test dummy for testing in vehicles other 
than passenger cars after 1991. 

Indefinite use of Part 572 Subpart B dummy in 
non-passenger car testing 

Today's final rule marks the first time that 
NHTSA will check compliance with Standard No. 
208 for light trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles by conducting crash tests of those vehicles 



using instrumented test dummies positioned in 
accordance with the detailed requirements of 
Standard No. 208. Although the agency has placed 
uninstrumented test dummies in those vehicles for 
compliance testing under other standards, such as 
Standard Nos. 212 and 219, those standards do not 
contain detailed test dummy positioning require- 
ments. NHTSA recognizes that while manufac- 
turers have conducted numerous crash tests of 
passenger cars in accordance with Standard No. 
208 to certify compliance with the automatic 
restraint requirements, manufacturers have not 
conducted as many similar tests with light trucks 
and multipurpose passenger vehicles to measure 
the performance of the safety belt systems in those 
vehicles. In particular, the agency recognizes that 
manufacturers have had only limited experience 
in positioning and using Hybrid III test dummies 
in light trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles. As discussed in more detail below, the 
agency recognizes that it can be difficult to position 
the Hybrid III test dummy in some light trucks 
and multipurpose passenger vehicles. 

To allow manufacturers to gain more experience 
with the Hybrid III test dummy, NHTSA has 
decided to permit temporarily the use of either the 
Part 572 Subpart B or Hybrid III test dummy in 
Standard No. 208 compliance testing for light 
trucks and multipurpose passenger vehicles after 
September 1, 1991. The agency will continue to 
monitor its own testing experiences and the man- 
ufacturers' experiences in using the Hybrid III test 
dummy in light trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles. After evaluating experiences with the 
Hybrid III test dummy, NHTSA will announce in 
a subsequent rulemaking when the use of that test 
dummy will become mandatory for compliance 
testing for light trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles. 

Foot positioning 

Ford said the positioning specification adopted 
for placement of the driver's left foot and for 
placement of the passenger test dummy's feet were 
not clear. In particular. Ford said that the agency 
should clarify the term "floor surface" to indicate 
whether the agency is referring to the floor pan or 
the toeboard. Ford also recommended adopting the 
same foot positioning requirements for the Hybrid 
1 1 1 as are used for the older Part 572 Subpart B test 
dummy. 

Toyota raised a similar issue concerning the 
placement of the Hybrid Ill's feet and also recom- 
mended that NHTSA use the same foot positioning 



PART 571; S209-PRE 43 



procedures for the Hybrid III as are used for the 
Part 572 Subpart B test dummy. In particular, 
Toyota said that the same procedures should be 
used for such things as the Hybrid Ill's foot 
location when there is a footrest or wheelvvell in the 
passenger compartment. Toyota noted that because 
of structural differences between the two test 
dummies, each dummy should continue to have 
different initial spacing requirements for the knees. 
The agency adopted the positioning procedures 
for the Hybrid Ill's feet before it had issued the 
revisions to the feet positioning procedures for the 
Part 572 Subpart B test dummy. NHTSA agrees 
with Ford and Toyota that the foot positioning 
procedures for the two test dummies should be the 
same. NHTSA has made the necessary changes to 
the Hybrid III foot positioning procedures to con- 
form them with the procedures used with the Part 
572 Subpart B test dummy. So as not to invalidate 
any design and development work that man- 
ufacturers have done using the foot positioning 
procedures adopted in July 1986, NHTSA is pro- 
viding that manufacturers have the option of using 
either positioning procedure until September 1, 
1991. In response to Ford's request, NHTSA has 
also clarified the use of the term "floor surface" in 
the July 1985 foot positioning procedures to 
distinguish between the floor pan and the toeboard. 



Leg positioning 

In its petition for reconsideration, Toyota noted 
that there were several slight differences between 
the leg positioning procedure for the Hybrid III 
and the Part 572 Subpart B test dummies and 
requested the agency to resolve those differences. 
Toyota noted that there is no requirement specif>'ing 
the initial knee position of the driver's left leg for 
the Hybrid III. In addition. Toyota noted that there 
is no. requirement that the upper and lower leg 
centerlines of the driver's right leg fall as nearly as 
possible in a vertical plane. 

The positioning specifications for the Hybrid HI 
currently contain a requirement concerning the 
initial distance between the knees of the Hybrid III 
test dummy. Since this specification concerns only 
the initial placement of the knee, the agency does 
not believe it is necessary to further define the 
specific initial placement of the driver's right knee. 
As emphasized in the July 1986 final rule, the knee 
spacing requirement for the Hybrid III and the 
part 572 Subpart B test dummies are merely 
initial settings. The agency recognizes that the 
spacing can change as the test dummy is adjusted 
to meet the other positioning requirements. There- 



i 



fore, the agency does not believe it is necessary to 
further specify the initial placement of the driver's 
right knee for the Hybrid III test dummy. 

NHTSA does, however, agree with Toyota that 
the requirements for the positioning of the leg 
centerlines for the driver's right leg should be the 
same for both test dummies. The agency has 
therefore modified the Hybrid HI positioning pro- 
cedures to provide that the centerlines of the 
driver's upper and lower leg should fall as nearly 
as possible in a vertical plane. 

Hip point placement 

The July 1986 final rule provided for positioning 
the lower torso of the hybrid III with reference to 
several dimensions established by positioning the 
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) H-point 
machine on the vehicle's seat. (The H-point 
machine used in positioning the Hybrid III is a 
three-dimensional manikin that represents the 
weight and dimensions of a 50th percentile male.) 
In particular, the procedure calls for locating the 
hip point of the Hybrid HI test dummy so that it is 
within 1/2 inch vertically and 1/2 inch longitud- 
inally of a point determined by use of the H-point 
machine. Ford recommended that the tolerances 
for the longitudinal location of the dummy's hip 
point be reduced to 1/4 inch to reduce the possibility 
of test variability. Ford did not, however, provide 
any evidence indicating that reducing the tol- 
erances would significantly reduce test variability. 
In the absence of such data, the agency has decided 
to deny Ford's request. 



Pelvic angle 

The July 1986 final rule provided for positioning 
the pelvic angle of the Hybrid III so that the angle 
is 22 1/2 degrees plus or minus 2 1/2 degrees. Ford 
said that the permitted five degree tolerance band 
is "unnecessarily broad." Ford recommended that 
the tolerance be reduced to 22 degrees plus or 
minus one degree. 

NHTSA is not adopting Ford's recommended 
change. The current range of permissible pelvic 
angles is needed to make it easier to adjust the leg 
placement of the test dummy. In addition, the 
current range of permissible angles also makes it 
easier to rotate the torso of the test dummy to level 
its head once the tet dummy has been placed on the 
vehicle seat. 

Head positioning ^ 

The July 1986 final rule provided that the head 



PART 571; S209-PRE 44 



shall be positioned so that the head accelerometer 
mounting platform is horizontal within 1/2 degree. 
I Ford recommended that the test dummy's head "be 
positioned 5 inches plus or minus 1/4 inch rearward 
of its hip position to minimize variations in fore- 
and-aft head positioning." Ford also said that 
positioning the head in this manner is "consistent 
with the typical seat back angle in cars and the 22 
degree pelvic angle, and will keep the head ac- 
celerometer mounting platform essentially hori- 
zontal." 

The agency has successfully used the current 
head positioning procedures to obtain a consistent 
positioning of the Hybrid Ill's head relative to 
different vehicle interiors. As discussed earlier in 
this notice, the agency has decided to adopt a minor 
change in the positioning requirements to address 
the minor difficulty the agency has experienced in 
positioning the Hybrid HI in an upright vehicle 
seat with a non-adjustable seat back. Since the 
current procedure, with the minor change adopted 
in this notice, has proved to consistently position 
the head, the agency is not adopting Ford's 
suggested alternative. 

Torso positioning 

The July 1986 final rule provided for positioning 
I the upper torso of the Hybrid HI so that it rests 
against the seat back. Toyota said that it has 
attempted to position a Hybrid HI test dummy 
using this procedure and "found that the head 
position of the dummy is not consistent and is 
significantly influenced by the force applied to the 
upper torso when positioning the dummy." Toyota 
requested the agency to set a specific load to be 
applied to the upper torso of the Hybrid HI while 
positioning the test dummy. 

When XHTSA adopted the final rule on the 
Hybrid HI test dummy, the agency consciously 
decided not to specify the step-by-step procedure 
that must be used to reach the prescribed final 
position. Instead, the Hybrid III dummy positioning 
specifications set forth the final position in which 
the test dummy should be before the crash test is 
conducted, such as having the head level and the 
pelvic angle adjusted within a specified range. The 
agency believes that the test dummy will be 
properly positioned when these procedures are 
followed. Consequently, there is no need for this 
rule to establish a specific load to be used in 
positioning the upper torso of the Hybrid III. 

I Hand placement 

The July 1986 final rule called for positioning the 



hands of the Hybrid III test dummy so that they are 
in contact with the steering wheel and attaching 
the thumbs to the steering wheel, with adhesive 
tape with a breakaway force of between 2 to 5 
pounds. Toyota said that the standard does not 
provide a procedure for measuring the breakaway 
force. In addition, Toyota said that the positioning 
procedure for the existing Part 572 Subpart B test 
dummy does not call for taping the thumbs to the 
steering wheel rim. It suggested the agency to drop 
the taping requirement for the Hybrid III. Ford 
requested using the term "masking tape" rather 
than "adhesive tape." Ford said that the term 
"adhesive tape" is "commonly used to mean medical 
cloth or plastic tape that would not meet the 2 to 5 
pound breakaway force specification." 

NHTSA has used a procedure of lightly taping 
the thumbs of the Hybrid III to the steering wheel 
in its crash tests. The agency has found that this 
practice is helpful in maintaining the test dummy's 
hands in place on the steering wheel as technicians 
make adjustments to the position of the test dummy. 
The tape is also helpful in keeping the test dummy's 
hands on the steering wheel as the vehicle is 
accelerated toward the barrier in a crash test. 

The agency has not previously specified a test to 
measure breakaway force of the tape since the tape 
is used as a convenience feature to reduce the 
number of times a technician must reposition the 
hands as he or she makes final minor adjustments 
to the test dummies' positions prior to a crash test. 
NHTSA believes that a simple means of de- 
termining whether the tape meets the 2 to 5 pound 
breakaway force requirement is simply to provide 
that when the test dummy's hand is moved upward 
with a force of not less than 2 pounds and not more 
than 5 pounds, the tape must break away. The 
agency does not believe it is necessary to specify 
whether the tape should be masking or adhesive 
tape, as long as the tape can meet the breakaway 
requirement. Thus, the agency has deleted the 
word "adhesive". 

Leadtime 

In commenting on the leadtime needed to meet 
the proposed requirements. Ford said that it would 
need to conduct pre-program design studies lasting 
up to 12 months on each of its four basic truck lines. 
It said the studies would be needed to determine 
how to comply with the proposed requirements 
without "jeopardizing the intended functions of 
these trucks, increasing their aggressivity, or 
threatening the existence of the many small final- 
stage manufacturers that use oyr trucks as the 
base for their products." Ford said that these pre- 



PART 571; S209-PRE 45 



program studies would have to be completed before 
it could begin normal programs, taking up to 54 
months, to make the necessary changes, which 
could involve changes to the front end structure, 
steering system, chassis, instrument panel, engine 
mounting and seating systems. Ford also said it 
"does not have the personnel or engineering 
facilities to make major changes in all of its truck 
lines at the same time. We can accomplish only one 
major change truck program in any year." Ford 
recommended indefinite deferral ofa dynamic test 
requirement for full-size light trucks until the 
practicability and safety need is established. In the 
case of compact light trucks. Ford requested that 
the effective date be delayed until September 1, 
1991. 

The agency finds good cause for providing 
additional leadtime. As discussed previously, the 
agency's test data show that while it is practicable 
for light trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles to meet a dynamic test requirement, even 
in 35 mph barrier impacts, there are a large 
number of vehicles that must be modified to meet 
the requirement. Some vehicles, in particular van- 
type vehicles, may need more extensive structural 
modifications to meet the dynamic test require- 
ment. Based on the agency's review of the test data, 
NHTSA believes that in some cases, extensive 
vehicle modifications may not be necessary. The 
addition of pre-tensioners to the safety belts (devices 
that sense a crash and remove slack from the belt 
system) and additional vehicle padding may enable 
those vehicles to meet the dynamic test requirement 
at 30 mph. To address the redesign and manpower 
issues Ford raised, the agency has decided to adopt 
a September 1, 1991 effective date. The agency 
recognizes that some vehicles will be able to comply 
before that date. However, the additional leadtime 
is necessary to ensure that all vehicles can be 
modified by the September 1, 1991 date. 

Other Issues Raised by the Commenters 

Exclusions from Standard Nos. 203 and 204 

Volkswagen suggested that vehicles equipped 
with dynamically tested manual belts be excluded 
from Standard Nos. 203, Impact Protection for the 
Driver from the Steeri)tg Control Systems, and 204, 
Steering Control Rearward Displacement. The 
agency does not believe such an exclusion would be 
appropriate because both those standards have 
been shown to provide substantial protection to 
unbelted and belted drivers. 



Latching procedure in Standard No. 208 

Mercedes-Benz asked that Standard No. 208 be 
modified to include a test procedure for latching 
and adjusting a manual safety belt prior to the belt 
being dynamically tested. NHTSA agrees that 
Standard No. 208 should include such a procedure 
and has already adopted such a procedure for 
dynamically tested manual belts in passenger cars. 
Subsequent to issuance of that rule, Ford petitioned 
for reconsideration of the belt latching test pro- 
cedure. Ford noted that the safety belt positioning 
procedure specifies applying a 2 to 4 pound tension 
load to the lap belt of a lap/shoulder belt, but does 
not specify how the load is to be applied or how the 
tension is to be measured. Ford asked the agency to 
clarify the procedure, particularly with regard to 
whether the load is to be applied to the lap portion 
of the belt or whether an increasing load is to be 
placed on the shoulder portion of the belt until the 
required amount of tension has been reached in the 
lap portion of the belt. 

NHTSA does not believe that the area of applica- 
tion of the belt tension load should have a signif- 
icant effect on the subsequent performance of the 
belt in a dynamic test. However, to promote 
uniformity in application of the load, the agency, 
on September 5, 1986 (51 FR 31765), amended the 
standard to provide that the load will be applied to 
the shoulder portion of the belt adjacent to the 
latchplate of the belt. If the safety belt system is 
equipped with two retractors (one for the lap belt 
and one for the upper torso belt), then the tension 
load will be applied at the point the lap belt enters 
the retractor, since the separate lap belt retractor 
effectively controls the tension in the lap portion of 
a lap/shoulder belt. The amount of tension will also 
be measured at the location where the load is 
applied. Finally, the agency has amended the 
standard to provide that after the tension load has 
been- applied, the shoulder belt will be positioned 
flat on the test dummy's shoulder. This will ensure 
that if the belt is twisted during the application of 
the tension load, it will be correctly positioned 
prior to the crash test. This final rule incorporates 
the same latching procedure for safety belts in 
light trucks and van-like vehicles. 

Revisions to Standard No. 209 

The notice proposed to exclude dynamically 
tested belts from the static laboratory strength 
tests for safety belt assemblies set forth in S4.4 of 
Standard No. 209. Ford asked that such belts be 



PART 571; S209-PRE 46 



excluded from the remaining requirements of 
Standard No. 209 as well. 

In adopting the dynamic test requirement for 
lap/shoulder belts in passenger cars, NHTSA 
agreed that an additional exclusion from some 
performance requirements of Standard No. 209 is 
appropriate. The agency noted that the webbing of 
automatic belts is currently excluded from the 
elongation and other belt webbing and attachment 
hardware requirements of Standard No. 209. since 
those belts have to meet the injury protection 
criteria of Standard No. 208 during a crash. For 
dynamically tested manual belts in passenger cars, 
NHTSA believed that an exclusion from the 
webbing width, strength and elongation require- 
ments (sections 4.2(a)-(c)) is also appropriate, since 
these belts will also have to meet the injury 
protection requirements of Standard No. 208. The 
agency believes that for those same reasons, 
dynamically tested safety belts in light trucks and 
multipurpose passenger vehicles should also be 
excluded from those requirements of Standard No. 
209. 

The agency does not believe that manual belts 
should be excluded from the other requirements in 
Standard No. 209. For example, the requirements 
on buckle release force should continue to apply, 
since manual safety belts, unlike automatic belts, 
must be buckled every time they are used. As with 
retractors in automatic belts, retractors in dy- 
namically tested manual belts will still have to 
meet Standard No. 209's performance require- 
ments. 

Subsequent to issuance of the final rule on the 
dynamic testing of manual safety belts in passenger 
cars, several organizations petitioned for recon- 
sideration of the exclusion of dynamically tested 
safety belts in passenger cars from the require- 
ments of Standard No. 209. The agency is still in 
the process of reviewing those petitions and will 
respond to them in a later notice. Any changes 
made for dynamically tested belts in passenger 
cars will also be made for dynamically tested belts 
in light trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles. 

Revisions to Standard No. 210 

The April 1985 notice proposed that dynamically 
tested manual belts would not have to meet the 
location requirements set forth in Standard No., 
210. S( nt Belt Assembly Anchorages. Volkswagen 
suggested that dynamically tested belts be com- 
pletely excluded from Standard No. 210; it also 



recommended that Standard No. 210 be har- 
monized with Economic Commission for Europe 
(ECE) Regulation No. 14. AMC and Renault 
suggested using the "out-of-vehicle" dynamic test 
procedure for manual belts contained in ECE 
Regulation No. 16, instead of the proposed barrier 
crash test in Standard No. 208. 

As explained in the final rule adopting the 
dynamic test requirement for manual safety belts 
in passenger cars, the agency does not believe that 
the "out-of-vehicle" laboratory bench test of ECE 
Regulation No. 16 should be allowed as a substitute 
for a dynamic vehicle crash test. The protection 
provided by safety belts depends on the per- 
formance of the safety belts themselves, in con- 
junction with the structural characteristics and 
interior design of the vehicle, the best way to 
measure the performance of the safety belt/vehicle 
combination is through a vehicle crash test. 

The agency has recently proposed revisions to 
Standard No. 210 to harmonize it with ECE 
Regulation No. 14; therefore the commenters' 
suggestions concerning harmonization and ex- 
clusion of dynamically tested safety belts from the 
other requirements of Standard No. 210 will be 
considered during that rulemaking. At the present 
time, the agency is adopting only the proposed 
exclusion of anchorages for dynamically tested 
safety belts from the location requirements, which 
was not opposed by any commenter. 



Belt labeling 

Ford objected to the proposal that dynamically 
tested belts have a label indicating that they may 
be installed only at the front outboard seating 
positions of certain vehicles. Ford said that it is 
unlikely that anyone would attempt to install a 
lap/shoulder belt in any vehicle other than the 
model for which it was designed. The agency does 
not agree and has already adopted a belt labeling 
requirement for dynamically tested safety belts in 
passenger cars. 

In the final rule on dynamically testing manual 
safety belts in passenger cars, the agency explained 
that it believes that care must be taken to dis- 
tinguish dynamically tested belt systems from 
other systems, since misapplication of a belt in a 
vehicle designed for use with a specific dynamically 
tested belt could pose a risk of injury. If there is a 
label on the belt itself, a person making the 
installation will be aware that the belt should be 
installed only in certain vehicles. 



PART 571; S209-PRE 47 



Subsequent to issuance of the passenger car final 
rule, Ford petitioned for reconsideration of the belt 
labeling requirement. Ford said that the required 
label does not specifically identify the safety belt as 
a dynamically tested belt and the label does not 
suggest that the belt may be safely used only in 
specific vehicles at specific seats. Ford asked the 
agency to rescind the labeling requirement. Ford 
also suggested that the intent of S4.6(b) could be 
accomplished by requiring the safety belt installa- 
tion instruction required by S4.1(k) of the standard 
to specify both the vehicles for which the belt 
system is to be used and the specific type of seating 
position for which it is intended. 

As explained in the September 5, 1986 notice 
responding to Ford's petition for reconsideration, 
NHTSA believes that it is important that a 
dynamically tested safety belt be labeled to ensure 
that it is installed only in the type of vehicle for 
which it is intended. NHTSA agreed with Ford 
that providing the information in the installation 
instructions would address most of the problem of 
possible misuse. However, there still may be 
instances where the instruction would be lost. In 
addition, the installation instruction requirements 
apply only to aftermarket belts. There can be 
situations where a safety belt may be taken from 
one vehicle and transferred to another. Given these 
considerations and the importance of alerting 
motorists that a safety belt may have been designed 
for use in one particular make and model vehicle, 
the agency decided to retain the labeling require- 
ment. 

In response to Ford's comment, NHTSA believes 
that the statement appearing on the label should be 
changed to require a manufacturer to specify the 
specific vehicles for which the safety belt is intended 
and the specific seating position (e.g., "right front") 
in which it can be used. In today's final rule, 
NHTSA is adopting the same belt labeling require- 
ments for light trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles that it has previously applied to passenger 
car safety belts. 

Cost and benefits 

NHTSA has examined the impacts of this rule- 
making action and determined that the action is 
not major within the meaning of Executive Order 
12291. It is. however, significant within the 
meaning of the Department of Transportation's 
regulatory policies and procedures. The agency 
has prepared a final regulatory evaluation, which 
analyzes in detail the economic and other impacts 



of this rulemaking action. This regulatory evalua- 
tion has been placed in Docket No. 74-14; Notice 53. Wk 
Any interested person may obtain a copy of this 
regulatory evaluation by writing to: NHTSA 
Docket Section, Room 5109, 400 Seventh Street, 
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590, or by calling the 
Docket Section at (202) 366-4949. 

To briefly summarize the regulatory evaluation, 
the agency estimates that the dynamic test require- 
ment for manual safety belts will increase testing 
costs by about $8,500 per test. This cost estimate 
assumes that manufacturers can conduct the new 
test as a part of its current crash testing to meet 
other standards. The additional costs are as- 
sociated with instrumentation of the dummies. 
Ford said these tests cannot be "pigg>'-backed" 
with those done for FMVSS 212, 219.' and 301. 
Ford stated, "we try to test 'worst case' conditions 
so that when we pass, we have confidence that all 
vehicles will pass. But the 'worst case' conditions 
for one standard may be the 'best case' for another 
standard." The agency recognizes that it is possible 
that a worst case test for one standard may not be 
the same for another standard for a particular 
vehicle. However, it is also unlikely that for each of 
the vehicle types covered by this standard it will 
not be possible to conduct testing to multiple 
standards, including Standard No. 208, in one ^ 
crash test. 

The agency cannot estimate the design costs 
associated with meeting the performance require- 
ments adopted in this final rule. As discussed 
earlier in this notice, some existing vehicle designs 
currently meet the requirements adopted today. In 
addition, other vehicles may be able to meet the 
requirements by adopting different safety belt 
webbing or retractors, which are relatively minor 
changes. In other cases, it may be necessary to 
make structural changes to the vehicle as well to 
enable the vehicle to meet the performance require- 
ments of the standard. 

The agency believes that the rule's requirements 
will improve the overall level of safety performance 
provided by light trucks and multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles. As discussed earlier, agency crash 
testing has shown that the instrumented test 
dummies in some of these vehicles record com- 
paratively high injury readings in 30 and 35 mph 
crashes. Today's final rule will ensure that the belt 
systems and vehicle structure are designed to work 
together to reduce potential injuries. 

Regulatory Flexibility Act &^ 

NHTSA has also considered the impacts of this 



PART 571; S209-PRE 48 



rulemaking action under the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act. Today's final rule will have an impact on a 
large number of small businesses. The potential 
significance of that impact will differ depending 
on the type of vehicles currently being used by 
those businesses and on what actions those man- 
ufacturers take in response to today's final rule. 
The agency has tried to minimize the impact on 
small businesses, while still improving the safety 
of the vehicles covered by the amendments adopted 
today. The impacts on small businesses are dis- 
cussed briefly below and in more detail in the 
agency's final regulatory evaluation, which includes 
a full regulatory flexibility analysis. Persons 
interested in the regulatory flexibility analysis are 
urged to review the regulatory-evaluation that has 
been placed in the docket for this final rule. 

Few. if any, light truck and multipurpose 
passenger vehicle manufacturers would qualify as 
small entities, there is, however, a specialized class 
of businesses involved in the final stage man- 
ufacturing of a vehicle manufactured in two or 
more stages or involved in the conversion or altera- 
tion of new vehicles that would be affected by the 
restraint system requirements adopted today. 
Under NHTSA's regulations, a final stage man- 
ufacturer must certify that the completed vehicle 
conforms to all applicable safety standards. In 
addition, a business that modifies or converts a new 
vehicle prior to its first sale to a consumer is 
considered a vehicle alterer under the agency's 
regulations. As an alterer. the business is required 
to certify that the vehicle, as altered, continues to 
comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards. For example, a business that 
installs a body on a new truck chassis or places new 
seats and other equipment in a van must certify 
that the vehicle, as altered, continues to comply 
with all the agency's safety standards. 

As discussed earlier in this notice, the agency has 
reduced the potential impact on those small 
businesses by limiting the application of today's 
final rule. In many instances, businesses involved 
in the final stage manufacturing of a vehicle are 
adding substantial items of heavy work-performing 
equipment to a truck chassis. According to the 
Truck Body and Equipment Association, which 
represents many final stage manufacturers and 
vehicle alterers. approximately 90-95 percent of 
the chassis used by their members involved in final 
stage manufacturing have a GVWR greater than 
8.500 pounds and, in addition, would have an 
unloaded vehicle weight greater than 5,500 pounds 
when they are completed. Thus, they would not be 
covered by the requirement adopted today. 



In the case of vehicles that will be covered by the 
dynamic test requirement, converters and final- 
stage manufacturers have a number of different 
alternatives. The manufacturers of the truck or 
van chassis used by final-stage manufacturers are 
required to provide information on what center of 
gravity, weight, and other limitations must be 
followed for the vehicle to remain in compliance 
with all the agency's safety standards. Final-stage 
manufacturers and converters can stay within the 
limitations prescribed by the original chassis 
manufacturer and thus the final vehicle will 
continue to comply. They may also choose to finish 
the vehicle outside of the limits imposed by the 
original manufacturer and do the necessary testing 
or engineering analysis to show that the vehicle 
still complies with the dynamic test requirement. 
Finally, in those instances where alterers or final- 
stage manufacturers have used a vehicle with a 
GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less or a vehicle with an 
unloaded vehicle weight of 5,500 pounds or less, 
they may now choose to switch to vehicles with a 
greater GVWR or to add more weight to the vehicle 
so that it is not covered by the requirements 
adopted today. 

Small organizations and governmental units 
should not be significantly affected. Those entities 
may be purchasing some altered or multi-stage 
manufactured vehicles. However, as discussed 
above, the agency's decision to limit the applica- 
bility of the final rule will minimize the cost impact 
on those vehicles. 

In consideration of the foregoing, sections 571.208 
and 571.209 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations are amended as follows: 

S4.2 is revised to read as follows: 

S4.2 Trucks and multipurpose passenger ve- 
hicles with GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. 

S4.2.1 Trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, 
manufactured on or after January 1. 1976 and 
before September 1. 1991. Each truck and multi- 
purpose passenger vehicle, with a gross vehicle 
weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, manu- 
factured before September 1, 1991, shall meet the 
requirements of S4. 1.2.1, or at the option of the 
manufacturer, S4. 1.2.2 or S4. 1.2.3 (as specified for 
passenger cars), except that forward control 
vehicles manufactured prior to September 1, 1981, 
convertibles, open-body type vehicles, walk-in van- 
type trucks, motor homes, vehicles designed to be 
exclusively sold to the U.S. Postal Service, and 
vehicles carrying chassis-mount campers may in- 
stead meet the requirements of S4.2.1.1 or S4.2.1.2. 



PART 571; S209-PRE 49 



54. 2.1.1 First option— com])lete automatic pro- 
tectio)! ftystou. The vehicle shall meet the crash 
protection requirements of S5 by means that re- 
quire no action by vehicle occupants. 

54.2.1.2 Second option — beltsijstem. The vehicle 
shall have seat belt assemblies that conform to 
Standard 209 installed as follows: 

( 1 ) A Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly shall 
be installed for each designated seating position in 
convertibles, open-body type vehicles, and walk-in 
van-type trucks. 

(b) In all vehicles except those for which re- 
quirements are specified in S4. 2. 1.2(a), a Type 2 
seat belt assembly shall be installed for each 
outboard designated seating position that includes 
the windshield header within the head impact 
area, and a Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly 
shall be installed for each other designated seating 
position. 

S4.2.2 Trucks and multipurpose passoiger 
vehicles u-itli a GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less and 
an unloaded vehicle weight of 5.500 pounds or less, 
manufactured on or after September 1. 1991. Each 
truck and multipurpose passenger vehicle, with a 
gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less 
and an unloaded vehicle weight of 5,500 pounds or 
less, manufactured on or after September 1, 1991, 
shall meet the requirements of S4. 1.2.1, or at the 
option of the manufacturer, S4. 1.2.2 or S4. 1.2.3 (as 
specified for passenger cars), except that con- 
vertibles, open-body type vehicles, walk-in van- 
type trucks, motor homes, vehicles designed to be 
exclusively sold to the U.S. Postal Service, and 
vehicles carrying chassis-mount campers may 
instead meet the requirements of S4.2.1.1 or 
S4.2.1.2. Each Type 2 seat belt assembly installed 
in a front outboard designated seating position in 
accordance with S4. 1.2.3 shall meet the require- 
ments of S4.6. 

84. 2.3 Trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles manufactured on or after September 1. 1991 
u-ith either a GVWR of more than S. 500 pounds but 
not greater than 10.000 pounds or with an unloaded 
vehicle ivcight greater than 5.500 pounds and a 
GVWR of II). 000 pounds or less. Each truck and 
multipurpose passenger vehicle manufactured on 
or after September 1, 1991, that has either a gross 
vehicle weight rating which is greater than 8,500 
pounds, but not greater than 10,000 pounds, or has 
an unloaded vehicle weight greater than 5,500 
pounds and a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less shall 
meet the requirements of S4. 1.2.1, or at the option 
of the manufacturer. S4. 1.2.2 or S4. 1.2.3 (as 
specified for passenger cars), except that con- 
vertibles, open-body type vehicles, walk-in van- 



type trucks, motor homes, vehicles designed to be 
exclusively sold to the U.S. Postal Service, and 
vehicles carrying chassis-mount campers may in- 
stead meet the requirements of S4. 2. 1.1 or S4. 2. 1.2. 

3. S4.6 is amended by revising S4.6.2 and 
adding S4.6.3 to read as follows: 

S4.6 Dynamic testing of manual belt systeyns. 

54.6.1 * * * 

54.6.2 Each truck and multipurpose passenger 
vehicle with a GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less and an 
unloaded weight of less than 5,500 pounds that is 
manufactured on or after September 1, 1991, and 
is equipped with a Type 2 seat belt assembly at a 
front outboard designated seating position pursuant 
to S4. 1.2.3 shall meet the frontal crash protection 
requirements of S5.1 at those designated seating 
positions with a test dummy restrained by a Type 2 
seat belt assembly that has been adjusted in accord- 
ance with S7.4.2. A vehicle shall not be deemed to 
be in noncompliance with this standard if its 
manufacturer establishes that it did not have 
reason to know in the exercise of due care that such 
vehicle is not in conformity with the requirement 
of this standard. 

54.6.3 A Type 2 seat belt assembly subject to 
the requirements of S4.6.1 or S4.6.2 of this standard 
does not have to meet the requirements of S4.2(a)- 
(c) and S4.4 of Standard No. 209 (49 CFR 571.209) 
of this Part. 

4. S5.1 is revised to read as follows: 

S5. Occupant crash protection requirements. 

S5.1 Passenger cars manufactured before 
September 1, 1991, and all other vehicles subject to 
S5.1 shall comply with either S5.1(a) or S5.1(b). at 
the manufacturer's option. Passenger cars man- 
ufactured on or after September 1, 1991. shall 
comply with S5. Kb). ***** 

5. S7.4.4 is revised to read as follows: 

S7.4 Seat belt comfort and conven- 
ience * * * * 

57.4.4 Latchplate access. Any seat belt assembly 
latchplate that is located outboard of a front 
outboard seating position in accordance with S4.1.2 
shall also be located within the outboard reach 
envelope of either the outboard arm or the inboard 
arm described in SlO.6 of this standard and. in the 
case of a Part 572 Subpart B test dummy. Figure 
3A of this standard, or, in the case of a Part 572 
Subpart E test dummy. Figure 3B of this standard, 
when the latchplate is in its normal stowed position. 
There shall be sufficient clearance between the 
vehicle seat and the side of the vehicle interior to 
allow the test block defined in Figure 4 of this 
standard unhindered transit to the latchplate or 
buckle. *****. 



PART 571; S209-PRE 50 



6. Si 0.6.1 is revised to read as follows: 
S10.6 * * * 

S 10.6.1 Driver's position. Move the upper and 
the lower arms of the test dummy at the driver's 
position to their fully outstretched position in the 
lowest possible orientation. Push each arm rear- 
ward permitting bending at the elbow, until the 
palm of each hand contacts the outer part of the 
rim ofthe steering wheel at its horizontal centerline. 
Place the test dummy's thumbs over the steering 
wheel rim and position the upper and lower arm 
centerlines as close as possible in a vertical plane 
without inducing torso movement. The thumbs 
shall be over the steering wheel rim and lightly 
taped to the steering wheel rim so that if the hand 
of the test dummy is pushed upward by a force of 
not less than 2 pounds and not more than 5 pounds, 
the tape shall release the hand from the steering 
wheel rim. ***** 

7. Sll is amended by revising Sll.l, Sll.3.1, 
S11.5, and Sll. 6, to read as follows: 

Sll Positioning procedure for the Part 572 
Submrt E Test Dummy. * * * 

Sll.l Head. The transverse instrumentation 
platform of the head shall be horizontal within 1/2 
degree. To level the head of the test dummy in 
vehicles with upright seats with non-adjustable 
backs, the following sequences must be followed. 
First adjust the position of the H-point within the 
limits set forth in Sll. 4. 3.1 to level the transverse 
instrumentation platform of the head of the test 
dummy. If the transverse instrumentation platform 
of the head is still not level, then adjust the pelvic 
angle of the test dummy within the limits provided 
in Sll. 4. 3. 2 of the standard. If the transverse 
instrumentation platform of the head is still not 
level, then adjust the neck bracket of the test 
dummy the minimum amount necessary to ensure 
that the transverse instrumentation platform of 
the head is horizontal within 1/2 de- 

fflTOO ♦ ♦ ♦ ^4^ + 

S11.3 Hands. 

Sll.3.1 The palms of the driver test dummy 
shall be in contact with the outer part of the 
steering wheel rim at the rim's horizontal center- 
line. The thumbs shall be over the steering wheel 
rim and shall be lightly taped to the steering wheel 
rim so that if the hand of the test dummy is pushed 
upward by a force of not less than 2 pounds and not 
more than 5 pounds, the tape shall release the hand 
from the steering wheel rim. ***** 

Si 1.5 Legs. 

Si 1.5.1 The legs of the driver and passenger 
dummy shall be plasced as provided in Si 1.5.2 or, 
at the option of the vehicle manufacturer until 



September 1, 1991, as provided in SIO.1.1 for the 
driver and SlO.1.2 for the passenger, except that 
the initial distance between the outboard knee 
clevis flange surfaces shall be 10.6 inches for both 
the driver and the passenger rather than 14 1/2 
inches as specified in SlO.1.1 (a) for the driver and 
11 3/4 inches as specified in Sl0.1.2.1(a) and 
SlO. 1.2.2(a) for the passenger. 

SI 1.5.2 The upper legs of the driver and pas- 
senger test dummies shall rest against the seat 
cushion to the extent permitted by placement of the 
feet. The initial distance between the outboard 
knee clevis flange surfaces shall be 10.6 inches. To 
the extent practicable, the left leg of the driver 
dummy and both legs of the passenger dummy 
shall be in vertical longitudinal planes. To the 
extent practicable, the right leg of the driver 
dummy shall be in a vertical plane. Final adjust- 
ment to accommodate placement of feet in accord- 
ance with SI 1.6 for various passenger compart- 
ment configurations is permitted. 

S11.6 Feet. 

SI 1.6. 1 The feet of the driver test dummy shall 
be placed as required by Sll. 6. 2 or, at the option of 
the vehicle manufacturer until September 1, 1991, 
as provided in SlO.1.1. The feet of the passenger 
test dummy shall be placed as required by Si 1.6.3 
or, at the option of the vehicle manufacturer until 
September 1, 1991, as provided in SlO.1.2. 

Si 1.6.2 The right foot of the driver test dummy 
shall rest on the undepressed accelerator with the 
rearmost point ofthe heel on the floor surface in the 
plane of the pedal. If the foot cannot be placed on 
the accelerator pedal, it shall be positioned per- 
pendicular to the tibia and placed as far forward as 
possible in the direction of the centerline of the 
pedal with the rearmost point ofthe heel resting on 
the floor surface. The heel of the left foot shall be 
placed as far forward as possible and shall rest on 
the floor pan. The left foot shall be positioned as flat 
as possible on the toeboard. The longitudinal 
centerline ofthe left foot shall be placed as parallel 
as possible to the longitudinal centerline of the 
vehicle. 

Sll. 6. 3 The heels of both feet of the passenger 
test dummy shall be placed as far forward as 
possible and shall rest on the floor pan. Both feet 
shall be positioned as flat as possible on the toeboard. 
The longitudinal centerline of the feet shall be 
placed as parallel as possible to the longitudinal 
centerline of the vehicle. ***** 

8. Figure 3 following the test of §571.208 is 
removed and new Figures 3A and 3B are inserted 
in its place, appearing as follows: 
§571.209 [AMENDED] 



PART 571; S209-PRE 51 



9. S4.6 of §571.209 is revised to read as follows: "front right") n (insert specific vehicle make(s) and 
S4.6 Manual 6p/f.s subject to crash protection model(s)). 

requirements of Standard No. 20H. 

(a) A seat belt assembly subject to the require- 

mentsof S4.6of Standard No. 208(49CFR§571.208) Issued on: November 18, 1987 

does not have to meet the requirements of S4.2(a)- 
(c) and S4.4 of this standard. 

(b) A seat belt assembly that meets the 
requirements of S4.6 of Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 

§571.208) shall be permanently and legibly marked sT^- * ! 

or labeled with the following statement: Admmistrator 

The dynamically-tested seat belt assembly is for 52 F.R. 44898 

use only in (insert specific seating position(s)), e.g., November 23, 1987 



PART 571; S209-PRE 52 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 

SAFETY STANDARD NO. 209 

Seat Belt Assemblies 

(Docket No. 74-14; Notice 71) 

RIN 2127-AD11 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This agency has expressed its intention 
to exclude safety belts that meet dynamic testing 
requirements from some of the static testing require- 
ments to which all safety belts are subject. Dynamic 
testing consists of a 30 mile per hour crash test of the 
vehicle using test dummies as surrogates for human 
occupants. Since the dynamic test measures the actual 
occupant protection which the belt provides during a 
crash, there is no apparent need to subject that belt 
to static testing procedures that are surrogate and less 
direct measures of the protection which the belt would 
provide to its occupant during a crash. 

In order to avoid needless regulatory restrictions on 
safety belts that have been dynamically tested, this rule 
amends the agency's regulations to more accurately 
express the scope of the exemption from the static test- 
ing requirements for safety belts that are dynamically 
tested. Specifically, this rule: 

1. Excludes all safety belts that are subject to the 
dynamic testing requirements, regardless of the type 
of vehicle in which those belts are installed, from some 
of the static testing requirements for safety belts; 

2. Permits the use of load limiters on all safety belts 
installed at seating positions subject to the dynamic 
testing requirements, regardless of whether the sub- 
ject belts are automatic or manual safety belts; and 

3. Correctly identifies all of the static testing re- 
quirements from which automatic safety belts and 
manual safety belts subject to the dynamic testing 
requirements are excluded in the safety standards, 
instead of listing some of those requirements in the 
safety standards, and adding others in the agency's 
interpretations and preambles to rules. 

This notice also clarifies which safety belts the agency 
was referring to when it described safety belts as 
"dynamically tested." NHTSA was referring only to 
all automatic belts and to manual safety belts that are 
the only occupant restraint system at a seating posi- 



tion. Thus, any manual safety belts installed at seat- 
ing positions also equipped with either an automatic 
safety belt or an air bag are not "dynamically tested" 
safety belts within the meaning of this rule. Such 
manual safety belts are, therefore, subject to the 
strength, webbing width, and other requirements of 
Standard No. 209. However, this rule excludes manual 
safety belts installed at seating positions also equipped 
with either an automatic safety belt or an air bag from 
the elongation requirements of Standard No. 209. This 
exclusion wall allow maximum engineering flexibility 
in the design of these manual belt systems, while still 
ensuring effective occupant protection. 

EFFECTIVE: April 16, 1991. 

BACKGROUND: Standard No. 209, Seat Belt Assem- 
blies (49 CFR § 571.209), sets forth qualities of the 
webbing and hardware used in a seat belt assembly, 
along with some additional tests of the seat belt assem- 
bly as a whole. Absent a dynamic test, these tests 
individually evaluate each of the aspects of a belt 
system that NHTSA believes are necessary to ensure 
that the belt system will provide adequate occupant 
protection in a crash. For instance, the strength re- 
quirements in Standard No. 209 are intended to ensure 
that the safety belt is strong enough to withstand the 
loads imposed by a person using the belt in a crash; 
the webbing elongation requirements help ensure that 
the belt will not stretch so much that it provides a lesser 
level of protection, and so forth. NHTSA assumes that 
any belt system that achieves the required level of per- 
formance in all of these tests will offer adequate 
occupant protection when the belt system is installed 
in any vehicle at any seating position. 

However, NHTSA has long believed it more appro- 
priate to evaluate the occupant protection afforded by 
vehicles by conducting dynamic testing, which consists 
of a crash test of the vehicle using test dummies as 
surrogates for human occupants. This belief is based 
on the fact that the protection provided by safety belts 



PART 571; S209-PRE 53 



depends on more than the performance of the safety 
belts themselves or of belt components tested individu- 
ally. Occupant protection depends on the performance 
of the safety belts themselves and the structural 
characteristics and interior design of the vehicle. A 
dynamic test of the vehicle allows NHTSA to evaluate 
all of the factors that affect occupant crash protection. 
Further, a dynamic test allows the agency to evaluate 
the synergistic effects of all these factors working 
together, instead of evaluating each factor individually. 
Finally, a dynamic test assesses the vehicle's capabili- 
ties for minimizing the risk of injury as measured by 
test dummies and human-based injury criteria, as 
opposed to individual belt component tests that are only 
indirectly related to human injury risk. 

For dynamic testing under Standard No. 208, 
Occupant Crash Protection (49 CFR § 571.208), test 
dummies are placed in the vehicle and the vehicle is 
subjected to a frontal crash into a concrete barrier at 
a speed of 30 miles per hour (mph). In evaluating the 
occupant crash protection capabilities of a vehicle, this 
dynamic test assesses safety belt performance. A 
requirement for safety belts to conform to both the 
dynamic testing requirements of Standard No. 208 and 
the laboratory testing requirements of Standard No. 
209 is thus unnecessary, because Standard No. 208 
dynamic testing would evaluate the critical aspects of 
belt and assembly performance that would be evalu- 
ated under Standard No. 209. To avoid such redundan- 
cies, automatic safety belts subject to the dynamic 
testing requirements of Standard No. 208 were ex- 
cluded from Standard No. 209's laboratory testing 
requirements for webbing, attachment hardware, and 
assembly performance shortly after NHTSA estab- 
lished the first dynamic testing requirements in Stan- 
dard No. 208. See 36 FR 23725. December 14, 1971. 

More recently, NHTSA has extended the dynamic 
testing requirements of Standard No. 208 to manual 
safety belt systems installed at the front outboard seat- 
ing positions in passenger cars (51 FR 9800; March 21, 
1986) and light trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles (52 FR 44898; November 23, 1987). In both 
instances, the agency stated in the preamble to the rule 
that dynamically tested manual belts should be ex- 
cluded from the same requirements of Standard No. 
209 as automatic belts are, for the same reasons. See 
51 FR 9804; 52 FR 44906. On the other hand, both 
automatic and dynamically tested manual belts are sub- 
ject to other requirements in Standard No. 209; for 
example, the retractor performance requirements, the 
buckle release mechanism performance requirements, 
and the requirements for corrosion resistance of attach- 
ment hardware apply to these types of safety belts. 
NHTSA subsequently denied petitions for reconsider- 
ation and a petition for rulemaking on the question of 
excluding dynamically tested safety belts from some 



of the requirements of Standard No. 209. See 53 FR 
5579; February 25, 1988. In the denial notice, NHTSA 
reemphasized its conclusion that there was no safety ^ 
or other need to justify applying some of the static tests B 
in Standard No. 209 to belt systems that have been ^ 
dynamically tested in the vehicle in which they are 
installed. 

In addition, the preambles to the rules establishing 
dynamic testing of some manual safety belt systems 
in passenger cars and light trucks and multipurpose 
passenger vehicles stated that dynamically tested 
manual safety belts should be labeled indicating the 
seating positions and particular vehicles in which these 
safety belts could be installed. See 51 FR 9804; 52 FR 
44906-44907. These labels were intended to minimize 
the likelihood that a dynamically tested safety belt 
would be installed in a vehicle or a seating position for 
which it was not intended. NHTSA subsequently 
denied a petition for rulemaking asking that these 
labeling requirements be amended to apply only to 
dynamically tested manual belt systems that did not 
comply with all the static testing requirements of Stan- 
dard No. 209. 53 FR 50429; December 15, 1988. 

However, the regulatory language in Standards No. 
208 and 209 did not fully and clearly achieve the 
agency's expressed intentions. Therefore, the agency 
proposed to amend the provisions of those standards 
in four areas in a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) published on January 18, 1990 (55 FR 1681). |^ 
NHTSA received six comments on this NPRM. Com- ^ 
menters included motor vehicle manufacturers, safety 
belt manufacturers, and motor vehicle dealers. All of 
these comments were considered in developing this 
final rule, and the most significant comments are dis- 
cussed below. For the convenience of the reader, this 
rule uses the same organization as the NPRM. 

1. Exclusion for Dynamically Tested Manual Belt 
Systems Installed in Passenger Cars from. Certain 
Requirements of Standard No. 209. 

Volkswagen of America (Volkswagen) submitted a 
petition asking NHTSA to amend the language in Stan- 
dard No. 208 so as to achieve the agency's stated intent 
of excluding dynamically tested manual belt assemblies 
installed at front outboard seating positions of pas- 
senger cars from the webbing width, strength, and 
elongation requirements of Standard No. 209. Volks- 
wagen noted that, although preambles to rules on 
dynamic testing have repeatedly indicated that 
NHTSA was excluding dynamically tested manual belts 
in passenger cars from certain static testing require- 
ments of Standard No. 209, the current language in 
section S4.6.1 of Standard No. 208 excludes dynami- 
cally tested manual belts in passenger cars from some a: 
requirements in Standard No. 209 only if the K 
requirement for automatic restraints in passenger cars " 
were rescinded. Since there was no rescission, there 



PART 571; S209-PRE 54 



is currently no exclusion from any of the requirements 
in Standard No. 209 for dynamically tested manual 
belts in passenger cars. 

In the NPRM, NHTSA repeated its previous state- 
ments that it is appropriate to exclude all belt systems 
subject to dynamic testing requirements, including 
dynamically tested manual belts in passenger cars, 
from some of the static testing requirements of Stan- 
dard No. 209. The failure to provide such an exclusion 
in Standard No. 208 was simply an oversight on 
NHTSA's part. The agency proposed to correct that 
oversight in the NPRM. 

Chrysler, Ford, and BMW commented that they 
supported this proposal. The Automotive Occupant 
Restraints Council (AORC) opposed the proposal. 
According to AORC, excluding dynamically tested 
manual belts from some of the static testing require- 
ments in Standard No. 209 might result in adverse 
safety consequences. For example, AORC noted that 
the static webbing strength test exposes the webbing 
to loading that is approximately twice as great as the 
most heavily-loaded webbing would be exposed to 
during dynamic testing. This commenter asserted that 
an "unknowledgeable or reckless" manufacturer could 
introduce webbing of lesser strength in its dynamically 
tested safety belts and that this webbing of lesser 
strength would be a "degraded occupant crash protec- 
tion product." Similarly, AORC suggested that 
eliminating the assembly performance requirements 
for dynamically tested safety belts "could result in a 
degradation of performance of the seat belt assembly." 
In the same vein, AORC suggested that elimination of 
the webbing width requirements for dynamically tested 
safety belts "would provide the possibility for 
ill-conceived, unproven significant deviations" from the 
webbing width specified in Standard No. 209. 

AORC had previously raised these concerns about 
excluding dynamically tested manual belts from some 
of the static testing requirements of Standard No. 209. 
NHTSA responded in detail in a February 25, 1988 
notice (53 FR 5579). To briefly repeat that response, 
the agency agreed with AORC that the static testing 
provisions of Standard No. 209 are well-conceived 
provisions that have assured adequate levels of 
occupant crash protection. The agency also agreed that 
the static testing provisions of Standard No. 209 
subject the safety belt to higher force levels than are 
generally encountered in dynamic testing under Stan- 
dard No. 208. Thus, it is possible that safety belt 
manufacturers could make design changes to their 
dynamically tested manual safety belts that might 
result in lesser safety protection for belt users. The 
agency stated that it must determine if this possible 
action by safety belt manufacturers is sufficiently likely 
so as to justify some preventive regulatory action. 



Automatic belts have been excluded from these static 
testing requirements since 1971. In those 20 years, 
NHTSA has no evidence of any instances where auto- 
matic safety belts provided any lesser level of safety 
protection because those belts are excluded from some 
of the static tests in Standard No. 209. Judging from 
this record, it seems that the possibility that safety belt 
manufacturers would take actions that would result in 
lesser safety protection has not become a reality, in the 
case of automatic safety belts. There is no apparent 
reason to believe that this possibility would become a 
reality in the case of dynamically tested manual belts, 
and AORC did not suggest such a reason. Hence, there 
is no apparent need for the static testing requirements 
in Standard No. 209 to apply to dynamically tested 
manual safety belts. 

In addition to these previously expressed reasons for 
excluding dynamically tested manual safety belts in 
general from some of Standard No. 209's static tests, 
NHTSA believes there is an additional reason to adopt 
the proposal to exclude dynamically tested manual 
safety belts in passenger cars from those static tests. 
Dynamically tested manual safety belts in light trucks 
are already excluded from those static tests. There is 
no reason to treat dynamically tested manual safety 
belts differently, depending on the type of vehicle in 
which those belts are installed. The differing treatment 
arose because of an oversight on the agency's part. The 
adoption of the proposal to treat all dynamically tested 
manual safety belts in the same way for the purposes 
of some static testing requirements in Standard No. 
209 corrects that oversight. 

NHTSA would also like to respond to a point raised 
in Ford's coniments. Ford suggested that manual 
safety belts installed at seating positions equipped with 
an air bag could be considered dynamically tested 
manual safety belts, or a "manual seat belt assembly 
subject to the requirements of S5.1" of Standard No. 
208, as expressed in the proposed regulatory language. 
Ford correctly noted that S4. 1.2. 1(a) requires that air 
bags provide acceptable occupant crash protection in 
a 30 mph barrier crash test by automatic means alone. 
S4.1.2.1(cX(2), which requires that manual safety belts 
be installed at seating positions equipped with air bags, 
also requires that the seating position provide accept- 
able occupant protection in another 30 mph barrier 
crash test with the manual safety belts fastened. 
According to Ford, this testing meant that the manual 
safety belts at seating positions equipped with air bags 
are, strictly speaking, "subject to the requirements of 
S5.1" and that those belts could be considered dynam- 
ically tested manual safety belts. This interpretation 
is contrary to NHTSA's intent. The safety belts that 
NHTSA meant to describe as subject to the crash test- 
ing requirements of S5.1 included all automatic belts 
and manual safety belts that were the only occupant 



PART 209-PRE 55 



restraint system at a seating position. Thus, any 
manual belts installed at seating positions also equipped 
with either automatic safety belts or air bags are not 
what NHTSA is referring to when it uses the term 
"dynamically tested manual belts" in preambles or 
letters of interpretation. To make this clear, the regula- 
tory language adopted in this final rule describes the 
excluded safety belts as "any manual seat belt assem- 
bly subject to the requirements of S5.1 of this standard 
by virtue of any provision of this standard other than 
S4.1.2.1(cX2)." 

A result of this clarification is that manual safety 
belts installed at seating positions also equipped with 
either automatic safety belts or air bags will remain 
subject to Standard No. 209's requirements for web- 
bing width, strength, and so forth. This helps ensure 
that the manual safety belts will provide the intended 
occupant protection in situations in which the auto- 
matic crash protection is not intended to deploy (e.g., 
in crashes other than frontal crashes and rollovers). 

However, the agency believes it is appropriate to 
exclude manual belts installed at seating positions also 
equipped with either automatic belts or air bags from 
the elongation requirements in Standard No. 209. 
NHTSA concludes that allowing an exclusion from the 
elongation requirements for these safety belts will 
permit safety belt designs that optimize the belt force 
deflection characteristics of the manual belts installed 
in conjunction with automatic crash protection systems. 
Optimized designs could achieve better occupant pro- 
tection. Appropriate amendments have been made to 
Standards No. 208 and 209 to reflect this exclusion. 

2. Load Limiters on Dynamically Tested Manual Belts. 
Ford filed a petition for rulemaking asking that "load 
limiters" be permitted on dynamically tested manual 
safety belts. S4.5 of Standard No. 209 includes specif- 
ic regulatory provisions regarding "load limiters" on 
safety belt systems. A "load limiter" is defined in 
section S3 of Standard No. 209 as "a seat belt assem- 
bly component or feature that controls tension on the 
seat belt to modulate the forces that are imparted to 
occupants restrained by the belt assembly during a 
crash." Before this rule takes effect, the language of 
S4.5 of Standard No. 209 allows load limiters to be used 
on belt assemblies only if that belt assembly is part of 
an automatic restraint system. 

However, the agency explained in the NPRM that 
it agreed with Ford's suggestion that the agency 
intended to permit the use of load limiters on dynami- 
cally tested manual belt systems. As long as a belt 
system is installed at a seating position that is subject 
to dynamic testing requirements, the occupant protec- 
tion capabilities of the belt system can be evaluated in 
the dynamic testing. There is no reason to permit the 
use of load limiters on dynamically tested automatic 



belt systems, but prohibit their use on dynamically 
tested manual belt systems. Accordingly, the NPRM 
proposed to amend S4.5 of Standard No. 209 to allow ^ 
load limiters to be used on belt systems installed in con- E 
junction with an automatic restraint system or on belt W^ 
systems installed at a seating position subject to the 
dynamic testing requirements. 

Chrysler and Ford supported this proposal, and no 
commenters objected to the proposal. The proposed 
change is made in this final rule, for the reasons set 
forth in the proposal. 

As an adjunct to the proposal to allow load limiters 
on belt systems installed at a seating position equipped 
with automatic crash protection, the agency proposed 
to require those belt systems to be labeled in the same 
way as automatic belts equipped with load limiters. 
Ford commented that it did not believe that labeling 
of dynamically tested safety belts is necessary, 
irrespective of whether the dynamically tested safety 
belt is manual or automatic. Thus, Ford asked that the 
proposed labeling requirement for dynamically tested 
safety belts with load limiters not be adopted in this 
final rule. NHTSA proposed to require dynamically 
tested manual safety belts equipped with load limiters 
to be labeled in the same way that dynamically tested 
automatic belts with load limiters have been required 
to be labeled since 1981. Prior to Ford's comment, 
NHTSA had not heard of any suggestion that the label- 
ing requirements for automatic belts with load limiters M 
were unduly burdensome, onerous, confusing, or the ^ 
like. During this rulemaking, no commenter other than 
Ford made such a suggestion. Thus, absent some 
further explanation of the difficulties Ford has 
experienced, NHTSA does not believe that extending 
the existing labeling requirements for automatic belts 
with load limiters to dynamically tested manual belts 
with load limiters will result in any undue burdens for 
manufacturers or consumers. 

Ford also stated its understanding that the labeling 
requirements in the proposal would apply to automatic 
and dynamically tested manual belts only if those belt 
assemblies: (1) incorporated a load limiter, and 
(2) did not comply with the elongation requirements 
in Standard No. 209. 

Based on this understanding. Ford asked the agency 
to confirm that NHTSA had not proposed to require 
labeling of dynamically tested safety belts that include 
load limiters, but still comply with the elongation 
requirements in Standard No. 209. Ford's understand- 
ing is correct. There is no need to specifically label 
safety belts that use load limiters, but nevertheless 
comply with the elongation requirements of Standard 
No. 209. 

After considering the comments, the agency is adopt- m 
ing the proposed labeling requirement for safety belts ^ 
that incorporate load limiters, with two minor modifi- 



PART 209-PRE 56 



cations. First, the agency proposed to require that 
safety belts with load limiters be labeled with informa- 
tion describing the belt system as "dynamically test- 
>ed." That phrase has been deleted from the required 
label information in this final rule, to reflect the facts 
that load limiters may be used on manual belt systems 
installed at seating positions also equipped with air 
bags and that those belt systems are not what NHTSA 
means by "dynamically tested manual belts" as ex- 
plained in the preceding section of this preamble. 

Second, the agency proposed to permit load limiters 
to be installed on "Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assem- 
blies," if the safety belt were installed at a seating 
position subject to dynamic testing. Strictly speaking, 
an automatic safety belt is not a Type 1 or Type 2 seat 
belt assembly. Thus, notwithstanding NHTSA's ex- 
press intention to permit load limiters on automatic 
belts, the proposed regulatory language would not 
clearly have done so. This final rule deletes the refer- 
ences to Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assemblies from 
the regulatory language. 

3. Scope of Excltision from Standard No. 209 for 
Dynamically Tested Manual Belt Systems. 

Before the effective date of this rule, both Standards 
No. 208 and 209 exclude dynamically tested manual 
belt systems from "the requirements of S4.2(a)-(c) and 
S4.4" of Standard No. 209. However, while this exclu- 
sion appears to be a comprehensive listing of the 
) provisions of Standard No. 209 from which dynamically 
tested safety belts are excluded, it is in fact incomplete. 
Several previous interpretations and preambles to 
rulemaking actions have expressed NHTSA's position 
that dynamically tested manual belt systems are ex- 
cluded from the requirements of S4.2 (d)-(f), as well as 
the listed sections of Standard No. 209. The NPRM 
proposed to amend Standard No. 209 so that it would 
correctly show all of the provisions of Standard No. 209 
from which dynamically tested manual belt systems 
were excluded. The commenters supported this 
proposal. It is adopted for the reasons set forth in the 
NPRM. 

4. Labeling Requirements for Dynamically Tested 
Manual Safety Belts Installed in Passenger Cars. 

At this time, Standard No. 209 requires information 
about the vehicles and seating positions in which 
d>Tiamically tested belt systems can be installed, to be 
labeled on dynamically tested manual belt systems for 
use in light trucks and multipurpose passenger vehi- 
cles. However, Standard No. 209 currently does not 
require any installation information to be labeled on 
dynamically tested manual belt systems for use in 
passenger cars. The agency proposed in the NPRM to 
\ remedy this inconsistency by revising Standard No. 209 
^ so that it would require installation information to be 
labeled on all dynamically tested manual belt systems. 



regardless of the vehicle type in which the belt system 
will be installed. 

This proposal drew the most attention from the com- 
menters. The National Automobile Dealers Association 
(NAD A) supported this proposal, stating that a consis- 
tent labeling requirement for safety belts would "cer- 
tainly benefit" aftermarket installations of those safety 
belts. On the other side of this issue, Chrysler opposed 
the proposal, asserting that the proposed requirement 
would be cumbersome, and not necessary to ensure 
proper safety belt replacement and performance. 
Chrysler asserted that it currently has over 300 
replacement safety belt part numbers for its 1990 
vehicles alone. Because of this complexity and prolifer- 
ation of parts, Chrysler asserted that dealers and 
garages do not usually stock replacement safety belts, 
but order the belts and parts from Chrysler when 
needed. Accordingly, Chrysler believed that the pro- 
posed labeling requirement would not serve any 
purpose. 

Ford also opposed the proposal. According to Ford, 
dynamically tested safety belts are so complex that it 
would be extremely difficult to mistakenly install a 
dynamically tested safety belt in a vehicle or at a seat- 
ing position other than that for which it is designed. 
Given this difficulty, Ford argued that it was very 
unlikely that such an installation could be done inad- 
vertently. Ford suggested that the information pro- 
posed to be required to appear on a label on the belt 
instead be required to appear in the installation instruc- 
tions required to be provided with safety belt assem- 
blies. BMW and the Automobile Importers Association 
submitted comments that were substantially similar to 
the Chrysler and Ford comments. 

NHTSA has reconsidered the proposed labeling re- 
quirements in response to these comments. On the one 
hand, the agency does not believe there is any reason 
to have different labeling requirements for dynamically 
tested manual belt assemblies to be used in passenger 
cars than for dynamically tested manual belt assem- 
blies to be used in light trucks. The likelihood that 
dynamically tested manual safety belts will be inadver- 
tently installed in vehicles or seating positions other 
than those for which the belts were designed would not 
differ, depending upon the type of vehicle in which the 
dynamically tested belt is to be used. The proposal to 
extend the same labeling requirements that currently 
apply to dynamically tested manual belts for use in light 
trucks to dynamically tested manual belts for use in 
passenger cars was an effort by the agency to ensure 
that the labeling requirements were consistent. 

On the other hand, NHTSA does not want to impose 
an unnecessary or burdensome labeling requirement. 
The agency would like to further explore the idea of 
addressing the inappropriate installation of dynami- 
cally tested manual safety belts by means of the in- 



PART 209-PRE 57 



structions already required to be furnished with safety 
belts by S4.1(k) of Standard No. 209. If the installa- 
tion instructions were required to set forth the infor- 
mation currently required to be labeled on dynamically 
tested manual safety belts, it would seem that persons 
installing replacement safety belts would always have 
access to the information, just as they would if the 
information were labeled on the safety belt. The only 
instances in which information might not be available 
to the installer would be if the installation instructions 
were lost or if the installer was removing a safety belt 
from one vehicle and transferring the belt to another 
vehicle. NHTSA has no indications that either of these 
events are common occurrences. 

To allow for further exploration of this subject, 
NHTSA plans to initiate a rulemaking action propos- 
ing to require that the information currently required 
to be labeled on dynamically tested manual belts for 
use in light trucks instead be required to be provided 
in the installation instructions for all dynamically tested 
safety belts, both automatic and manual. This proposed 
requirement would apply to dynamically tested safety 
belts for use in both passenger cars and light trucks. 

Until the agency has completed this planned rulemak- 
ing, it would be premature to make any change to the 
existing requirements for labeling dynamically tested 
safety belts. Hence, the labeling requirements for 
dynamically tested manual belts for use in light trucks 
that are now in place will remain in effect. However 
this final rule does not adopt the proposed extension 
of the labeling requirements for dynamically tested 
light truck manual safety belts to also cover dynami- 
cally tested manual safety belts for use in passenger 
cars. 

This final rule operates to relieve some unintended 
restrictions on the use of dynamically tested safety 
belts by adopting regulatory language that reflects the 
agency's intention, as expressed in preambles of vari- 
ous rules. No additional duties or responsibilities are 
imposed on any party as a result of these modifications 
to the regulatory language. Accordingly, NHTSA finds 
for good cause that these modifications should become 
effective upon publication in the Federal Register. 

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices 

Executive Order 12291 (Federal Regulation) DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures 

NHTSA has considered the impacts of this rulemak- 
ing action and determined that it is neither major 
within the meaning of Executive Order 12291 nor 
significant within the meaning of the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory poHcies and procedures. 
The amendments made in this notice will give manufac- 
turers additional freedom to design and install manual 
belts in any way that ensures adequate protection 



for the user in the event of a crash. To the extent that 
the former language in Standards No. 208 and 209 did 
not accurately reflect the agency's intended require- 
ments for dynamically tested safety belts, the former » 
language imposed some insignificant, but unnecessary, ^, 
costs on vehicle manufacturers. This rule eliminates 
those needless costs. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 571 
is amended as follows: 

(1) S4.6 of Standard No. 208 is amended by removing 
existing sections S4.6.1 and S4.6.3, redesignating ex- 
isting S4.6.2 as S4.6.1, and adding new sections S4.6.2 
and S4.6.3 to read as follows: 

S4.6 Dynamic testing ofmanvul belt systems. 



54.6.2 Any manual seat belt assembly subject to the 
requirements of S5.1 of this standard by virtue of ?• y 
provision of this standard other than S4.1.2 l(cX2) does 
not have to meet the requirements of S4.2(a)-(f) and 
S4.4 of Standard No. 209 (§ 571.209). 

54.6.3 Any manual seat belt assembly subject to the 
requirements of S5.1 of this standard by virtue of 
S4. 1.2. 1(c)(2) does not have to meet the elongation re- 
quirements of S4.2(c), S4.4(aX2), S4.4(bX4), and 
S4.4(bX5) of Standard No. 209 (§ 571.209). 



§ 571.209 [Amended] 

(2) S4.5 of Standard No. 209 is amended by revis- 
ing S4.5(b) and (c) to read as follows: 
S4.5 Load-limiter . 



f 



(b) A seat belt assembly that includes a load limiter 
and that does not comply with the elongation require- 
ments of this standard may be installed in motor vehi- 
cles at any designated seating position that is subject 
to the requirements of S5.1 of Standard No. 208 
(§ 571.208). 

(c) A seat belt assembly that includes a load limiter 
and that does not comply with the elongation require- 
ments of this standard shall be permanently and legi- 
bly marked or labeled with the following statement: 

This seat belt assembly is for use only in [insert 
specific seating position(s), e.g., "front right"] in 
[insert specific vehicles make(s) and model(s)]. 

S4.6(a) of Standard No. 209 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S4.6 Manual belts subiect to crash protection require- 
ments of Standard No. 208. 

(aXl) A manual seat belt assembly, which is subject 
to the requirements of S5.1 of Standard No. 208 (49 
CFR § 571.208) by virtue of any provision of Standard 
No. 208 other than S4.1.2.1(cX2) of that standard, does 



« 



PART 571; S209-PRE 58 



not have to meet the requirements of S4.2(a)-(f) and Issued on April 10, 1991 

S4.4 of this standard. 

(2) A manual seat belt assembly subject to the re- 
quirements of S5.1 of Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 

§571.208) by virtue of S4 1.2.1(cX2) of Standard No. j, R3, , ^urry 

208 does not have to meet the elongation requirements Administrator 

of S4.2(c), S4.4(aX2), S4.4(bX4), and S4.4(bX5) of this 

standard. 

56 F.R. 15295 

April 16, 1991 



PART 571; S209-PRE 59-60 



i 






^K 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 209 

Occupant Crash Protection; Seat Belt Assemblies 

(Docket No. 74-14; Notice 72) 
RIN: 2127-AE26 



ACTION: Response to petitions for reconsideration; 
Final rule. 

SUMMARY: NHTSA recently published a final rule to 
express more accurately the static testing require- 
ments for safety belts that do not apply to automatic 
belts or to manual belts that are crash tested. In 
response to petitions for reconsideration of that final 
rule, this rule clarifies the scope of the labeling require- 
ment for crash tested manual belts and modifies that 
labeling requirement to make it identical to the label- 
ing requirement for safety belts with load limiters. 
These amendments will improve the clarity of the label- 
ing requirements and avoid needless burdens on 
manufacturers. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: These amendments take effect 
September 1, 1992. Safety belts and vehicles manufac- 
tured before September 1, 1992 may comply with the 
post-September 1, 1992 requirements for belt labeling. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background 

Standard No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies (49 CFR 
$ 571 .209), sets forth a series of static tests for strength 
and other qualities of the webbing and hardware used 
in a seat belt assembly, along with some additional tests 
of the seat belt assembly as a whole. Absent a dynamic 
test, these tests individually evaluate each of the 
aspects of a belt system that NHTSA believes are 
necessary to ensure that the belt system will provide 
adequate occupant protection in a crash. For instance, 
the strength requirements in Standard No. 209 are in- 
tended to ensure that the safety belt is strong enough 
to withstand the loads imposed by a person using the 
belt in a crash; the webbing elongation requirements 
help ensure that the belt will not stretch so much that 
it provides a lesser level of protection; and so forth. 
NHTSA believes that any belt system that achieves the 
required level of performance in all of these tests will 
offer adequate occupant protection when the belt 
system is installed in any vehicle at any seating 
position. 



However, NHTSA has long believed it more ap- 
propriate to evaluate the occupant protection afforded 
by vehicles by conducting dynamic testing, which 
consists of a crash test of the vehicle using test 
dummies as surragates for human occupants. This 
belief is based on the fact that the protection provided 
by safety belts depends on more than the performance 
of the safety belts themselves or of belt components 
tested individually. Occupant protection depends on not 
only the performance of the safety belts themselves but 
the structural characteristics and interior design of the 
vehicle. A dynamic test of the vehicle allows NHTSA 
to evaluate all of the factors that affect occupant crash 
protection. Further, a dynamic test allows the agency 
to evaluate the synergistic effects of all these factors 
working together, instead of evaluating each factor 
individually. Finally, a dynamic test assesses the 
vehicle's capabilities for minimizing the risk of injury 
as measured by test dummies and human-based injury 
criteria, as opposed to individual belt component tests 
that are only indirectly related to human injury risk. 

For dynamic testing under Standard No. 208, 
Occupant Crash Protection (49 CFR 571.208), test 
dummies are placed in the vehicle and the vehicle is 
subjected to a frontal crash into a rigid barrier at a 
speed of 30 miles per hour (mph). In evaluating the 
occupant crash protection capabilities of a vehicle, this 
dynamic test also assesses safety belt performance. A 
requirement for safety belts to conform to both the 
dynamic testing requirements of Standard No. 208 and 
certain laboratory testing requirements of Standard 
No. 209 is thus unnecessary, because Standard No. 208 
dynamic testing would evaluate the critical aspects of 
belt and assembly performance that would be evalu- 
ated under Standard No. 209. To avoid such redun- 
dancies, automatic safety belts subject to the dynamic 
testing requirements of Standard No. 208 were ex- 
cluded from Standard No. 209's laboratory testing 
requirements for webbing, attachment hardware, and 
assembly performance shortly after NHTSA estab- 
lished the first dynamic testing requirements in 
Standard No. 208. See 36 FR 23725; December 14, 
1971. 



PART 571; S209-PRE 61 



April 1991 Final Rule 

On April 16, 1991, NHTSA published a final rule 
amending Standards No. 208 and 209 to avoid un- 
necessary regulatory restrictions on safety belts that 
have been dynamically tested (56 FR 15295). That final 
rule amended that agency's regulations to express 
more accurately the scope of the exemption from the 
static testing requirements for safety belts that are 
dynamically tested. 

Specially, that rule: 

1. Excluded all safety belts that are subject to the 
dynamic testing requirements, regardless of the type 
of vehicle in which those belts are installed, from some 
of the static testing requirements for safety belts (e.g., 
webbing width, strength, and elongation); 

2. Permitting the use of load limiters on all safety 
belts installed at seating positions subject to the 
dynamic testing requirements, regardless of whether 
the subject belts are automatic or manual safety belts; 
and 

3. Identified all of the static testing requirements 
from which automatic safety belts and manual safety 
belts subject to the dynamic testing requirements are 
excluded in the safety standards, instead of listing some 
of those requirements in the safety standards and 
adding others in the agency's interpretations and 
preambles to rules. 

Petition for Reconsideration 

The final rule also more clearly identified the safety 
belts to which the agency is referring when it describes 
safety belts as "dynamically tested." 

In response to the final rule, NHTSA received peti- 
tions for reconsideration from Ford and Volkswagen 
of America (Volkswagen). This notice responds to the 
issues raised in the those petitions. 

1. Whether the April 16 Rule Also Applies to 
Standard No. 210 

In its petition for reconsideration, Ford was con- 
cerned that the final rule's clarification of the term 
"dynamically tested belts" for the purposes of Stan- 
dards No. 208 and 209 might be interpreted to apply 
to Standard No. 210 as well. Ford was particularly 
concerned that a manual belt provided at a seating 
position also equipped with an air bag might no longer 
be excluded from the anchorage location requirements 
set forth in S4.3 of Standard No. 210. Ford asked 
NHTSA to verify that the interpretation of which 
manual belts are considered "dynamically tested" 
manual belts for the purposes of Standards No. 208 209 
is limited to those standards, and did not affect the 
differing interpretation the agency had previously 
made for the purposes of Standard No. 210. 

The final rule did not purport to address Standard 
No. 210. Throughout this rulemaking, there have been 
no references to Standard No. 210 nor did this rule ever 



propose to amend Standard No. 210. Thus, NHTSA 
confirms Ford's understanding that nothing in this 
rulemaking changed or modified anything with respect 
to the existing requirements and interpretations of 
Standard No. 210. 

2 . Whether Manual Belts are subject to the Labeling 
Requirements (i.e., are Considered Dynamically Tested) 
When They are Installed at Seating Positions Also 
Equipped With Air Bags That are Not Certified as 
Providing Automatic Cra^h Protection. 

In the preamble to the final rule, NHTSA stated that 
"any manual belts installed at seating positions also 
equipped with either automatic safety belts or air bags 
are not what NHTSA is referring to when it uses the 
term 'dynamically tested manual belts' in preambles 
or letters of interpretation" concerning Standards No. 
208 and 209, 56 FR 15297; April 16, 1991. 

In its petition for reconsideration. Ford asked about 
the final rule's applicability to manual safety belts 
supplied with air bags that are not certified as provid- 
ing automatic crash protection. Such air bags are some- 
times referred to as "face bags." Ford explained that 
it plans to install this sort of driver air bag on some 
of its 1992 model year light trucks and vans. Since this 
type of air bag is not certified as complying with the 
automatic restraint requirements of S4. 1.2.1 of Stan- 
dard No. 208, Ford stated its understanding that a 
manual belt installed at a seating position also equipped 
with a "face bag" would be considered a "djmamically 
tested" manual belt for the purposes of Standards No. 
208 and 209. 

Again, NHTSA confirms that Ford's understanding 
is correct. The new regulatory language adopted in the 
final rule exempts from certain static testing require- 
ments manual belts that are subject to crash testing 
by virtue of any provision of Standard No. 208 other 
than S4.1.2.1(cX2). S4. 1.2.1(c)(2) applies only to seat- 
ing positions with air bags that are certified as provid- 
ing automatic crash protection. Thus, if a vehicle is 
equipped with an air bag at a front outboard seating 
position that is not certified as providing automatic 
crash protection, and the vehicle is subject to the crash 
testing requirements in S5.1 of Standard No. 208, then 
the manual belt required to be installed at such seat- 
ing position would be considered "dynamically tested" 
for the purposes of Standards No. 208 and 209. 

3. Clarification of the Scope of the Labeling Require- 
ment for Dynamically Tested Manual Belts 

Section S4.6(b) of Standard No. 209 requires a "seat 
belt assembly that meets the requirements of S4.6 of 
Standard No. 208" to be marked or labeled with the 
following statement: 

This dynamically-tested seat belt assembly is for use 
only in (insert specific seating position(s), e.g., 'front 
right') in (insert specific vehicle make(s) and model(s). 



PART 571; S209-PRE 62 



The April 1991 final rule did not amend this provi- 
sion in Standard No. 209. It did, however, amend S4.6 
of Standard No. 208. First, it deleted the old provision 
in S4.6.2 of Standard No. 208 referring to dynamic 
testing of manual belts in passenger cars if the require- 
ment for automatic crash protectin were rescinded. 
Second, it added new sections S4.6 and S4.6.3 to more 
clearly specify which manual belts will be considered 
"dynamically tested" for the purposes of Standards No. 
208 and 209. In addition, the preamble stated that the 
final rule was making no change to the existing label- 
ing requirements for dynamically tested manual belts. 
This decision meant that the pre-existing requirement 
to label dynamically tested manual belts installed in 
light trucks would remain in place and in effect, while 
the proposal for a new requirement to label dynami- 
cally tested manual belts installed in passenger cars 
was not adopted. 

Ford and Volkswagen petitioned to the agency to 
reconsider these provisions on identical grounds. These 
manufacturers argued that S4.6(b) of Standard No. 209 
appears to require labeling of all dynamically tested 
manual belt assemblies regardless of the type of vehicle 
in which those belts are installed. This result is directly 
contrary to the statement in the preamble that dynam- 
ically tested manual belts installed in passenger cars 
where not subject to the labeling requirements. This 
is because S4.6(b) of Standard No. 209 requires label- 
ing of "a seat belt assembly that meets the require- 
ments of S4.6 of Standard No. 208." Although S4.6.1 
of Standard No. 208 provides that it applies only to 
dynamically tested manual belts installed in light 
trucks, S4.6.2. and S4.6.3 by their terms apply to all 
dynamically tested manual belts, irrespective of the 
vehicle type in which those dynamically tested belts are 
installed. To clarify the agency's intentions, the peti- 
tioners asked that S4.6(b) of Standard No. 209 be 
changed to refer to S4.6.1, instead of all of S4.6, of 
Standard No. 208. The agency agrees that this re- 
quested change makes the standard more precise, and 
amends Standard No. 209 accordingly. 

4. Inconsistency of Required Labeling for Dynami- 
cally Tested Manual Belts With Load Limiters 

In the preamble to the final rule, NHTSA stated that 
it did not believe that extending the labeling require- 
ments for automatic belts with load limiters (which 
have been in place since 1981) to dynamically tested 
manual belts with load limiters would result in any 
undue burdens for manufacturers or consumers. See 
56 FR 15297. Notwithstanding this stated belief, Volk- 
swagen argued in its petition that the regulatory 
language in S4.5 and 4.6 of Standard No. 209 imposed 
inconsistent labeling requirements for dynamically 
tested manual safety belts equipped with load limiters. 



Volkswagen correctly stated that S4.5(c) of Standard 
No. 209 requires all safety belts with load limiters to 
be labeled with the following statement: "This seat belt 
assembly is for use only in (insert specific seating 
position(s), e.g., 'front right') in (insert specific vehi- 
cle make(s) and model(s)). "However, S4.6(b) of 
Standard No. 209 requires a dynamically tested manual 
belt, including dynamically tested manual belts that 
incorporate a load limiter, to be labeled with following 
statement: 

"This dynamically-tested seat belt assembly is for use 
only in (insert specific seating positions(s), e.g., 'front 
right') in (insert specific vehicles make(s) and 
model(s))." (Emphasis added) Volkswagen suggested 
that the regulatory language in the final rule appears 
to require dynamically tested manual belts with load 
limiters to include two different labels, one consistent 
with S4.5(c) and one consistent with S4.5(c) and one 
consistent with S4.6(b). 

To avoid such repetitive and unnecessary labeling, 
Volkswagen asked in its petition that the label speci- 
fied in S4.6(b) should be revised to be identical with 
the label required in S4.5(c). NHTSA agrees. Accord- 
ingly, this rule deletes the phrase "dynamically tested" 
from the labeling required by S4.6(b) of Standard No. 
209. 

5. Effective Date 

This notice makes two minor changes to the April 
16, 1991 final rule in response to the petitions for recon- 
sideration. The changes are a clarification of the scope 
of the labeling requirement and a slight modification 
of the information that must be labeled on dynamic- 
ally tested manual belts pursuant to S4.6(b) of Stan- 
dard No. 209. NHTSA recognizes that manufacturers 
may need some leadtime to modify the labels on their 
dynamically tested manual belts installed in light trucks 
and vans. Therefore, manufacturers may comply with 
either the label specified in the April 16, 1991 final rule 
version of S4.6(b) (including the words "dynamically 
tested") or the label specified in this amendment to 
S4.6(b) (deleting the words "dynamically tested"), until 
September 1, 1992, the effective date for this rule. 
After September 1, 1992, the safety belts subject to 
S4.6(b) of Standard No. 209 must be labeled in accor- 
dance with the amended S4.6(b) seat forth in this 
notice. 

In consideration of the foregoing 49 CFR part 209 
is amended as follow^s: 

In § 571.209 S4.6(b) of Standard No. 209 is revised 
to read as follows, effective on the and after September 
1, 1992 and may be used at the manufacturer's option 
before that date: 

S4.6 Manual belts subject to crash protection re- 
quirements of Standard No. 208. 



PART 571; S209-PRE 63 



(b) A seat belt assembly certified as complying with Issued on October 30, 1991. 

S4.6.1 of Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 571.208) shall be 

permanently and legibly marked or labeled with the 

following statement: Jerry Ralph Curry, 

r™ ., ,x ,.1 r 1 r .^ -e Administrator 

This seat belt assembly is for use only in [insert specii- 

ic seating position(s), e.g., 'front right') in (insert 

specific vehicles make(s) and madels(s)]. 5g p_R_ 56323 

***** November 4, 1992 



PART 571; S209-PRE 64 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 209 

Seat Belt Assemblies 

(Docket No. 69-23) 



S1. Purpose and Scope. 

This standard specifies requirements for seat 
belt assemblies. 

52. Application. 

This standard applies to seat belt assemblies for 
use in passenger cars, multipurpose passenger 
vehicles, trucks, and buses. 

53. Definitions. 

"Adjustment hardware" means any or all hard- 
ware designed for adjusting the size of a seat belt 
assembly to fit the user, including such hardware 
that may be integral with a buckle, attachment 
hardware, or retractor. 

"Attachment hardware" means any or all hard- 
ware designed for securing the webbing of a seat 
belt assembly to a motor vehicle. 

"Automatic-locking retractor" means a retrac- 
tor incorporating adjustment hardware by means 
of a positive self-locking mechanism which is 
capable when locked of withstanding restraint 
forces. 

"Buckle" means a quick release connector which 
fastens a person in a seat belt assembly. 

"Emergency-locking retractor" means a retrac- 
tor incorporating adjustment hardware by means 
of a locking mechanism that is activated by vehicle 
acceleration, webbing movement relative to the 
vehicle, or other automatic action during an 
emergency and is capable when locked of with- 
standing restraint forces. 

"Hardware" means any metal or rigid plastic 
part of a seat belt assembly. 

"Load-limiter" means a seat belt assembly com- 
ponent or feature that controls tension on the seat 
belt to modulate the forces that are imparted to oc- 
cupants restrained by the belt assembly during a 
crash. 

"Nonlocking retractor" means a retractor from 
which the webbing is extended to essentially its full 



length by a small external force, which provides no 
adjustment for assembly length, and which may or 
may not be capable of sustaining restraint forces at 
maximum webbing extension. 

"Pelvic restraint" means a seat belt assembly or 
portion thereof intended to restrain movement of 
the pelvis. 

"Retractor" means a device for storing part or 
all of the webbing in a seat belt assembly. 

"Seat belt assembly" means any strap, webbing, 
or similar device designed to secure a person in a 
motor vehicle in order to mitigate the results of 
any accident, including all necessary buckles and 
other fasteners, and all hardware designed for in- 
stalling such seat belt assembly in a motor vehicle. 

"Seat back retainer" means the portion of some 
seat belt assemblies designed to restrict forward 
movement of a seat back. 

"Strap" means a narrow nonwoven material used 
in a seat belt assembly in place of webbing. 

"Type 1 seat belt assembly" is a lap belt for 
pelvic restraint. 

"Type 2 seat belt assembly" is a combination of 
pelvic and upper-torso restraints. 

"Type 2a shoulder belt" is an upper-torso 
restraint for use only in conjunction with a lap belt 
as a Type 2 seat belt assembly. 

"Upper-torso restraint" means a portion of a 
seat belt assembly intended to restrain movement 
of the chest and shoulder regions. 

"Webbing" means a narrow fabric woven with 
continuous filling yarns and finished selvages. 

84. Requirements. 

S4.1 (a) Single occupancy. A seat belt 
assembly shall be designed for use by one, and only 
one, person at any one time. 

(b) Pelvic restraint. A seat belt assembly shall 
provide pelvic restraint whether or not upper-torso 



PART 571; S 209-1 



restraint is provided, and the pelvic restraint shall 
be designed to remain on the pelvis under all condi- 
tions, including collision or roll-over of the motor 
vehicle. Pelvic restraint of a Type 2 seat belt 
assembly that can be used without upper torso 
restraint shall comply with requirements for Type 
1 seat belt assembly in S4.1 to S4.4. 

(c) Upper torso restraint. A Type 2 seat belt 
assembly shall provide upper-torso restraint 
without shifting the pelvic restraint into the 
abdominal region. An upper-torso restraint shall 
be designed to minimize vertical forces on the 
shoulders and spine. Hardware for upper-torso 
restraint shall be so designed and located in the 
seat belt assembly that the possibility of injury to 
the occupant is minimized. 

A Type 2a shoulder belt shall comply with 
applicable requirements for a Type 2 seat belt 
assembly in S4.1 to S4.4, inclusive. 

(d) Hardware. All hardware parts which 
contact under normal usage a person, clothing, or 
webbing shall be free from burrs and sharp edges. 

(e) Release. A Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt 
assembly shall be provided with a buckle or buckles 
readily acccessible to the occupant to permit his 
easy and rapid removal from the assembly. Buckle 
release mechanism shall be designed to minimize 
the possibility of accidental release. A buckle with 
release mechanism in the latched position shall 
have only one opening in which the tongue can be 
inserted on the end of the buckle designed to 
receive and latch the tongue. 

(f) Attachment hardware. [A seat belt 
assembly shall include all hardware necessary for 
installation in a motor vehicle in accordance with 
Society of Automotive Engineers Recommended 
Practice J800c, "Motor Vehicle Seat Belt Installa- 
tion," November 1973.1 However, seat belt 
assemblies designed for installation in motor 
vehicles equipped with seat belt assembly 
anchorages that do not require anchorage nuts, 
plates, or washers, need not have such hardware, 
but shall have 7/16-20 UNF-2A or 1/2-13 
UNC-2A attachment bolts or equivalent hard- 
ware. The hardware shall be designed to prevent 
attachment bolts and other parts from becoming 
disengaged from the vehicle while in service. Rein- 
forcing plates or washers furnished for universal 
floor installations shall be of steel, free from burrs 
and sharp edges on the peripheral edges adjacent 
to the vehicle, at least 0.06 inch in thickness and at 
least 4 square inches in projected area. The distance 



between any edge of the plate and the edge of the 
bolt hole shall be at least 0.6 inch. Any corner shall 
be rounded to a radius of not less than 0.25 inch or 
cut so that no corner angle is less than 135° and no 
side is less than 0.25 inch in length. (48 F.R. 
30138— June 30, 1983. Effective: July 30, 1983). 
(g) Adjustment. 

(1) A Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly shall 
be capable of adjustment to fit occupants whose 
dimensions and weight range from those of a 
5th-percentile adult female to those of a 95th- 
percentile adult male. The seat belt assembly 
shall have either an automatic-locking retractor, 
an emergency-locking retractor, or an adjusting 
device that is within the reach of the occupant. 

(2) A Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly for 
use in a vehicle having seats that are adjustable 
shall conform to the requirements of S4. 1(g)(1) 
regardless of seat position. However, if a seat 
has a back that is separately adjustable, the 
requirements of S4.1(gXl) need be met only with 
the seat back in the manufacturer's nominal 
design riding position. 

(3) The adult occupants referred to in S4.1(gXl) 
shall have the following measurements: 





5th-percentile 


95th-percentile 




adult female 


adult male 


Weight 


_._ 102 pounds 


215 pounds. 


Erect sitting height 


„_ 30.9 inches 


38 inches. 


Hip breadth (sitting) 


.__ 12.8 inches 


16.5 inches. 


Hip circumference 






(sitting) 


... 36.4 inches 


47.2 inches. 


Waist circumference 






(sitting) 


._. 23.6 inches 


42.5 inches. 


Chest depth 


. . 7.5 inches 


10.5 inches. 


Chest circumference: 






(nipple) 


.__ 30.5 inches ' 


) 


(upper) 


... 29.8 inches 


> 44.5 inches. 


(lower) 


... 26.6 inches 


/ 



(h) Webbing. The ends of webbing in a seat belt 
assembly shall be protected or treated to prevent 
raveling. The end of webbing in a seat belt 
assembly having a metal-to-metal buckle that is 
used by the occupant to adjust the size of the 
assembly shall not pull out of the adjustment hard- 
ware at maximum size adjustment. Provision shall 
be made for essentially unimpeded movement of 
webbing routed between a seat back and seat 
cushion and attached to a retractor located behind 
the seat. 



(Rev. 6/30/83) 



PART 571; S 209-2 



(i) Strap. A strap used in a seat belt assembly 
to sustain restraint forces shall comply with the 
requirements for webbing in S4.2, and if the strap 
is made from a rigid material, it shall comply with 
applicable requirements in S4.2, S4.3, and S4.4. 

(j) Marking. Each seat belt assembly shall be 
permanently and legibly marked or labeled with 
year of manufacture, model, and name or 
trademark of manufacturer or distributor, or of 
importer if manufactured outside the United 
States. A model shall consist of a single combina- 
tion of webbing having a specific type of fiber 
weave and construction, and hardware having a 
specific design. Webbings of various colors may 
be included under the same model, but webbing of 
each color shall comply with the requirements for 
webbing in S4.2. 

(k) Installation instructions. A seat belt 
assembly or retractor shall be accompanied by an 
instruction sheet providing sufficient information 
for installing the assembly in a motor vehicle 
except for a seat belt assembly installed in a motor 
vehicle by an automobile manufacturer. [The 
installation instructions shall state whether the 
assembly is for universal installation or for installa- 
tion only in specifically stated motor vehicles, and 
shall include at least those items specified in SAE 
Recommended Practice J800c, "Motor Vehicle 
Seat Belt Installations," November 1973. (48 F.R. 
30138— June 30. 1983. Effective: July 30, 1983)] 

(1) Usage and maintenance instrtictions. A seat 
belt assembly or retractor shall be accompanied by 
written instructions for the proper use of the 
assembly, stressing particularly the importance of 
wearing the assembly snugly and properly located 
on the body, and on the maintenance of the 
assembly and periodic inspection of all components. 
The instructions shall show the proper manner of 
threading webbing in the hardware of seat belt 
assemblies in which the webbing is not permanently 
fastened. Instructions for a nonlocking retractor 
shall include a caution that the webbing must be 
fully extended from the retractor during use of the 
seat belt assembly unless the retractor is attached 
to the free end of webbing which is not subjected to 
any tension during restraint of an occupant by the 
assembly. Instructions for Type 2a shoulder belt 
shall include a warning that the shoulder belt is not 
to be used without a lap belt. 

(m) Workmanship. Seat belt assemblies shall 
have good workmanship in accordance with good 
commercial practice. 



S4.2 Requirements for webbing. 

(a) Width. The width of the webbing in a seat 
belt assembly shall be not less than 1.8 inches, 
except for portions that do not touch a 95th- 
percentile adult male with the seat in any adjust- 
ment position and the seat back in the manufac- 
turer's nominal design riding position when 
measured under the conditions prescribed in 
S5.1(a). 

(b) Breaking strength. The webbing in a seat 
belt assembly shall have not less than the following 
breaking strength when tested by the procedures 
specified in S5.1(b): Type 1 seat belt assembly— 
6,000 pounds or 2,720 kilograms; Type 2 seat belt 
assembly— 5,000 pounds or 2,270 kilograms for 
webbing in pelvic restraint and 4,000 pounds or 
1,810 kilograms for webbing in upper-torso 
restraint. 

(c) Elongation. Except as provided in S4.5, the 
webbing in a seat belt assembly shall not be ex- 
tended to more than the following elongations 
when subjected to the specified forces in accord- 
ance with the procedure specified in S5.1(c): Type 1 
seat belt assembly— 20 percent at 2,500 pounds or 
1,130 kilograms; Type 2 seat belt assembly— 30 
percent at 2,500 pounds or 1,130 kilograms for 
webbing in pelvic restraint and 40 percent at 2,500 
pounds or 1,130 kilograms for webbing in upper- 
torso restraint. 

(d) Resistance to abrasion. The webbing of a 
seat belt assembly, after being subjected to abra- 
sion as specified in S5.1(d) or S5.3(c), shall have a 
breaking strength of not less than 75 percent of the 
breaking strength listed in S4.2(b) for that type of 
belt assembly. 

(e) Resistance to light. The webbing in a seat 
belt assembly after exposure to the light of a car- 
bon arc and tested by the procedure specified in 
S5.1(e) shall have a breaking strength not less than 
60 percent of the strength before exposure to the 
carbon arc and shall have a color retention not less 
than No. 2 on the Geometric Gray Scale published 
by the American Association of Textile Chemists 
and Colorists, Post Office Box 886, Durham, N.C. 

(f) Resistance to micro-organisms. The web- 
bing in a seat belt assembly after being subjected 
to micro-organisms and tested by the procedures 
specified in S5.1(f) shall have a breaking strength 
not less than 85 percent of the strength before 
subjection to micro-organisms. 

(g) Colorfastness to crocking. The webbing in a 
seat belt assembly shall not transfer color to a 



(Rev. 6/30/83) 



PART 571; S 209-3 



crock cloth either wet or dry to a greater degree 
than class 3 on the AATCC Chart for Measuring 
Transference of Color published by the American 
Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, 
when tested by the procedure specified in S5.1(g). 

(h) Colorfastness to staining. The webbing in a 
seat belt assembly shall not stain to a greater 
degree than class 3 on the AATCC Chart for 
Measuring Transference of Color published by the 
American Association of Textile Chemists and 
Colorists, when tested by the procedure specified 
in S5.1(h). 

S4.3 Requirements for hardware. 

(a) Corrosion resistance. 

(1) Attachment hardware of a seat belt 
assembly after being subjected to the conditions 
specified in S5.2(a) shall be free of ferrous cor- 
rosion on significant surfaces except for per- 
missible ferrous corrosion at peripheral edges or 
edges of holes on underfloor reinforcing plates 
and washers. [Alternatively, such hardware at 
or near the floor shall be protected against corro- 
sion by at least an electrodeposited coating of 
nickel, or copper and nickel with at least a serv- 
ice condition number of SC2, and other attach- 
ment hardware shall be protected by an elec- 
trodeposited coating of nickel, or copper and 
nickel with a service condition number of SCI, in 
accordance with American Society for Testing 
and Materials B456-79, "Standard Specification 
for Electrodeposited Coatings of Copper Plus 
Nickel Plus Chromium and Nickel Plus 
Chromium," but such hardware shall not be 
racked for electroplating in locations subjected 
to maximum stress. (48 F.R. 30138— June 30, 1983. 
Effective: July 30, 1983)] 

(2) Surfaces of buckles, retractors and 
metallic parts, other than attachment hardware, 
of a seat belt assembly after subjection to the 
conditions specified in S5.2(a) shall be free of 
ferrous or nonferrous corrosion which may be 
transferred, either directly or by means of the 
webbing, to the occupant or his clothing when 
the assembly is worn. After test, buckles shall 
conform to applicable requirements in 
paragraphs (d) to (g) of this section. 

(b) Temperature resistance. Plastic or other 
nonmetallic hardware parts of a seat belt assembly 
when subjected to the conditions specified in S5.2(b) 
shall not warp or otherwise deteriorate to cause the 
assembly to operate improperly or fail to comply with 
applicable requirements in this section and S4.4. 



(c) Attachment hardware. 

(1) Eye bolts, shoulder bolts, or other bolts 
used to secure the pelvic restraint of a seat belt 
assembly to a motor vehicle shall withstand a 
force of 9,000 pounds or 4,080 kilograms when 
tested by the procedure specified in S5. 2(c)(1), 
except that attachment bolts of a seat belt 
assembly designed for installation in specific 
models of motor vehicles in which the ends of 
two or more seat belt assemblies can not be 
attached to the vehicle by a single bolt shall have 
a breaking strength of not less than 5,000 pounds 
or 2,270 kilograms. 

(2) Other attachment hardware designed to 
receive the ends of two seat belt assemblies shall 
withstand a tensile force of at least 6,000 pounds 
or 2,720 kilograms without fracture of any 
section when tested by the procedure specified in 
S5.2(cX2). 

(3) A seat belt assembly having single attach- 
ment hooks of the quick-disconnect type for 
connecting webbing to an eye bolt shall be pro- 
vided with a retaining latch or keeper which shall 
not move more than 0.08 inch or 2 millimeters in 
either the vertical or horizontal direction when 
tested by the procedure specified in S5.2(cX3). 

(d) Buckle release. 

(1) The buckle of a Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt 
assembly shall release when a force of not more 
than 30 pounds or 14 kilograms is applied. 

(2) A buckle designed for pushbutton applica- 
tion of buckle release force shall have a minimum 
area of 0.7 square inch or 4.5 square centimeters 
with a minimum linear dimension of 0.4 inch or 
10 millimeters for applying the release force, or a 
buckle designed for lever application of a buckle 
release force shall permit the insertion of a 
cylinder 0.4 inch or 10 millimeters in diameter 
and 1.5 inches or 38 millimeters in length to at 
least the midpoint of the cylinder along the 
cylinder's entire length in the actuation portion 
of the buckle release. A buckle having other 
design for release shall have adequate access for 
two or more fingers to actuate release. 

(3) The buckle of a Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt 
assembly shall not release under a compressive 
force of 400 pounds applied as prescribed in 
paragraph S5.2(d)(3). The buckle shall be 
operable and shall meet the applicable 
requirements ef paragraph S4.4 after the com- 
pressive force has been removed. 



(Rev. 7/30/83) 



PART 571; S 209-4 



(e) Adjustment force. The force required to 
decrease the size of a seat belt assembly shall not 
exceed 11 pounds or 5 kilograms when measured 
by the procedure specified in S5.2(e). 

(f) Tilt-lock adjustment. The buckle of a seat 
belt assembly having tilt-lock adjustment shall lock 
the webbing when tested by the procedure 
specified in S5.2(f ) at an angle of not less than 30 
degrees between the base of the buckle and the 
anchor webbing. 

(g) Buckle latch. The buckle latch of a seat belt 
assembly when tested by the procedure specified in 
S 5. 2(g) shall not fail, nor gall or wear to an extent 
that normal latching and unlatching is impaired, 
and a metal-to-metal buckle shall separate when in 
any position of partial engagement by a force of 
not more than 5 pounds or 2.3 kilograms. 

(h) Nonlocking retractor. The webbing of a seat 
belt assembly shall extend from a nonlocking retrac- 
tor within 0.25 inch or 6 millimeters of maximum 
length when a tension is applied as prescribed in 
S5.2(h). A nonlocking retractor on upper-torso 
restraint shall be attached to the nonadjustable end 
of the assembly, the reel of the retractor shall be 
easily visible to an occupant while wearing the 
assembly, and the maximum retraction force shall 
not exceed 1.1 pounds or 0.5 kilogram in any strap 
or webbing that contacts the shoulder when 
measured by the procedure specified in S5.2(h), 
unless the retractor is attached to the free end of 
webbing which is not subjected to any tension dur- 
ing restraint of an occupant by the assembly. 

(i) Automatic-locking retractor. The webbing 
of a seat belt assembly equipped with an automatic- 
locking retractor, when tested by the procedure 
specified in S5.2(i), shall not move more than 1 inch 
or 25 millimeters between locking positions of the 
retractor, and shall be retracted with a force under 
zero acceleration of not less than 0.6 pound or 0.27 
kilogram when attached to pelvic restraint, and 
not less than 0.45 pound or 0.2 kilogram nor more 
than 1.1 pounds or 0.5 kilogram in any strap or 
webbing that contacts the shoulder of an occupant 
when the retractor is attached to upper-torso 
restraint. An automatic-locking retractor attached 
to upper-torso restraint shall not increase the 
restraint on the occupant of the seat belt assembly 
during use in a vehicle traveling over rough roads 

ias prescribed in S5.2(i). 
^ (j) Emergency-locking retractor. An 
emergency-locking retractor of a Type 1 or Type 2 



seat belt assembly, when tested in accordance with 
the procedures specified in paragraph S5.2(j)— 

(1) Shall lock before the webbing extends 1 
inch when the retractor is subjected to an 
acceleration of 0.7g; 

(2) Shall not lock, if the retractor is sensitive 
to webbing withdrawal, before the webbing 
extends 2 inches when the retractor is subjected 
to an acceleration of 0.3g or less; 

(3) Shall not lock, if the retractor is sensitive 
to vehicle acceleration, when the retractor is 
rotated in any direction to any angle of 15° or 
less from its orientation in the vehicle; 

(4) Shall exert a retractive force of at least 0.6 
pound under zero acceleration when attached 
only to the pelvic restraint; 

(5) Shall exert a retractive force of not less 
than 0.2 pound and not more than 1.1 pounds 
under zero acceleration when attached only to an 
upper-torso restraint; 

(6) Shall exert a retractive force of not less 
than 0.2 pound and not more than 1.5 pounds 
under zero acceleration when attached to a strap 
or webbing that restrains both the upper torso 
and the pelvis. 

(k) Performance of retractor. A retractor used 
on a seat belt assembly after subjection to the tests 
specified in S5.2(k) shall comply with applicable 
requirements in paragraphs (h) to Q of this section 
and S4.4, except that the retraction force shall be 
not less than 50 percent of its original retraction 
force. 

S4.4 Requirements for assembly performance. 

(a) Type 1 seat belt assembly. Except as pro- 
vided in S4.5, the complete seat belt assembly in- 
cluding webbing, straps, buckles, adjustment and 
attachment hardware, and retractors shall comply 
with the following requirements when tested by 
the procedures specified in S5.3(a): 

(1) The assembly loop shall withstand a force 
of not less than 5,000 pounds or 2,270 kilograms; 
that is, each structural component of the 
assembly shall withstand a force of not less than 
2,500 pounds or 1,130 kilograms. 

(2) The assembly loop shall extend not more 
than 7 inches or 18 centimeters when subjected 
to a force of 5,000 pounds or 2,270 kilograms; 
that is, the length of the assembly between 
anchorages shall not increase more than 14 
inches or 36 centimeters. 



PART 571; S 209-5 



(3) Any webbing cut by the hardware during 
test shall have a breaking strength at the cut of 
not less than 4,200 pounds or 1,910 kilograms. 

(4) Complete fracture through any solid 
section of metal attachment hardware shall not 
occur during test. 

(b) Type 2 seat belt assembly. Except as pro- 
vided in S4.5, the components of a Type 2 seat belt 
assembly including webbing, straps, buckles, ad- 
justment and attachment hardware, and retractors 
shall comply with the following requirements when 
tested by the procedure specified in S 5. 3(b): 

(1) The structural components in the pelvic 
restraint shall withstand a force of not less than 
2,500 pounds or 1,139 kilograms. 

(2) The structural components in the upper- 
torso restraint shall withstand a force of not less 
than 1,500 pounds or 680 kilograms. 

(3) The structural components in the assembly 
that are common to pelvic and upper-torso 
restraints shall withstand a force of not less than 
3,000 pounds or 1,360 kilograms. 

(4) The length of the pelvic restraint between 
anchorages shall not increase more than 20 
inches or 50 centimeters when subjected to a 
force of 2,500 pounds or 1,130 kilograms. 

(5) The length of the upper-torso restraint 
between anchorages shall not increase more 
than 20 inches or 50 centimeters when subjected 
to a force of 1,500 pounds or 680 kilograms. 

(6) Any webbing cut by the hardware during 
test shall have a breaking strength of not less 
than 3,500 pounds or 1,590 kilograms at a cut in 
webbing of the pelvic restraint, or not less than 
2,800 pounds or 1,270 kilograms at a cut in 
webbing of the upper-torso restraint. 

(7) Complete fracture through any solid 
section of metal attachment hardware shall not 
occur during test. 

S4.5 Load-limiter. 

(a) A Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly that in- 
cludes a load-limiter is not required to comply with 
the elongation requirements of S4.2(c), S4. 4(a)(2), 
S4.4(b)(4) or S4.4(b)(5). 

(b) A seat belt assembly that includes a load 
limiter and that does not comply with the elonga- 
tion requirements of this standard may be installed 
in motor vehicles at any designated seating posi- 
tion that is subject to the requirements of S5.1 of 
Standard No. 208 (§ 571.208). 



(c) A seat belt assembly that includes a load 
limiter and that does not comply with the elonga- 
tion requirements of this standard shall be per- 
manently and legibly marked or labeled with the 
following statement: 
This seat belt assembly is for use only in [insert 
specific seating position(s), e.g., "front right"] in 
[insert specific vehicles make(s) and model(s)] 

S4.6 Manual belts subject to crash protection 
requirements of Standard No. 208. 

(aXl) A manual seat belt assembly, which is sub- 
ject to the requirements of S5.1 of Standard No. 
208 (49 CFR § 571.208) by virtue of any provision 
of Standard No. 208 other than S4. 1.2. 1(c)(2) of 
that standard, does not have to meet the re- 
quirements of S4.2(a)-(f) and S4.4 of this standard. 

(2) A manual seat belt assemble subject to the 
requirements of S5.1 of Standard No. 208 (49 
CFR § 571.208) by virtue of S4.1.2.1(c)(2) of 
Standard No. 208 does not have to meet the 
elongation requirements of S4.2(c), S4.4(aX2), 
S4.4(b)(4), and S4.4(b)(5) of this standard. 

(b) [A seat belt assembly certified as comply- 
ing with S4.6.1 of Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 
571.208) shall be permanently and legibly 
marked or labeled with the following statement: 
This seat belt assembly is for use only in 
(insert specific seating position(s), e.g., 
"front right") in (insert specific vehicle 
make(s), and model(s))." 
(56 F.R. 56323— November 4, 1992.) 

Effective: September 1, 1992. Safety belts and 
vehicles manufactured before September 1, 1992 
may comply with the post September 1, 1992 re- 
quirements for belt labeling.)! 

S5. Demonstration procedures. 

S5.1 Webbing. 

(a) Width. The width of webbing from three 
seat belt assemblies shall be measured after con- 
ditioning for at least 24 hours in an atmosphere 
having relative humidity between 48 and 67 per- 
cent and a temperature of 23° + 2°C or 
73.4° ±3.6° F. The tension during measurement 
of width shall be not more than 5 pounds or 2 
kilograms on webbing from a Type 1 seat belt 
assembly, and 2,200±100 pounds or 1,000±50 
kilograms on webbing from a Type 2 seat belt 
assembly. The width of webbing from a Type 2 
seat belt assembly may be measured during the 



(Rev. 11/4/92) 



PART 571; S 209-6 



breaking strength test described in paragraph (b) 
of this section. 

(b) Breaking strength. Webbing from three 
seat belt assemblies shall be conditioned in ac- 
cordance with paragraph (a) of this section and 
tested for breaking strength in a testing machine 
of capacity verified to have an error of not more 
than one percent in the range of the breaking 
strength of the webbing in accordance with 
American Society for Testing and Materials 
E4-79, "Standard Methods of Load Verification of 
Testing Machines." 




WEBBING 



A 1 TO 2 INCHES OR 2.5 TO 5 CENTIMETERS 
B A MINUS 0.06 INCH 0.15 CENTIMETER 

FIGURE 1 

The machine shall be equipped with split drum 
grips illustrated in Figure 1, having a diameter 
between 2 and 4 inches or 5 and 10 centimeters. The 
rate of grip separation shall be between 2 and 4 
inches per minute or 5 and 10 centimeters per 
minute. The distance between the centers of the 
grips at the start of the test shall be between 4 and 
10 inches or 10 and 25 centimeters. After placing 
the specimen in the grips, the webbing shall be 
stretched continuously at a uniform rate to failure. 



Each value shall be not less than the applicable 
breaking strength requirement in S4.2(b), but the 
median value shall be used for determining the 
retention of breaking strength in paragraphs (d), 
(e), and (f ) of this section. 

(c) Elongation. Elongation shall be measured 
during the breaking strength test described in 
paragraph (b) of this section by the following 
procedure: A preload between 44 and 55 pounds or 
20 and 25 kilograms shall be placed on the webbing 
mounted in the grips of the testing machine and 
the needle points of an extensometer, in which the 
points remain parallel during test, are inserted in 
the center of the specimen. Initially the points shall 
be set at a known distance apart between 4 and 8 
inches or 10 and 20 centimeters. When the force on 
the webbing reaches the value specified in S4.2(c), 
the increase in separation of the points of the 
extensometer shall be measured and the percent 
elongation shall be calculated to the nearest 0.5 
percent. Each value shall be not more than the 
appropriate elongation requirement in S4.2(c). 

(d) Resistance to abrasion. The webbing from 
three seat belt assemblies shall be tested for 
resistance to abrasion by rubbing over the hexagon 
bar prescribed in Figure 2 in the following manner: 




A — WEBBING 

B— WEIGHT 

C — HEXAGONAL ROD 

STEEL -SAE 51416 

ROCKWELL HARDNESS - B-97 TO B-101 

SURFACE -COLD DRAWN FINISH 

SIZE -0.250 ± 0.001 INCH OR 
6.35 ± 0.03 MILLIMETER 

RADIUS ON EDGES -0.020 ± 0.004 INCH OR 
0.5 ± 0.1 MILLIMETER 
D-DRUM DIAMETER -16 INCHES OR 

40 CENTIMETERS 
E — CRANK 
F- CRANK ARM 
G- ANGLE BETWEEN WE3BING — 85 ± 2 DEGS. 



FIGURE 2 



(R*v. 4/16/91) 



PART 571; S 209-7 



The webbing shall be mounted in the apparatus 
shown schematically in Figure 2. One end of the 
webbing (A) shall be attached to a weight (B) which 
has a mass of 5.2 ±0.1 pounds or 2.35 ±0.05 kilo- 
grams, except that a mass of 3.3 ±0.1 pounds or 
1.50 ±0.05 kilograms shall be used for webbing in 
pelvic and upper-torso restraints of a belt assembly 
used in a child restraint system. The webbing shall 
be passed over the two new abrading edges of the 
hexagon bar (C) and the other end attached to an 
oscillating drum (D) which has a stroke of 13 inches 
or 33 centimeters. Suitable guides shall be used to 
prevent movement of the webbing along the axis of 
hexagonal bar C. Drum D shall be oscillated for 
5,000 strokes or 2,500 cycles at a rate of 60 ±2 
strokes per minute or 30 ± 1 cycles per minute. The 
abraded webbing shall be conditioned as prescribed 
in paragraph (a) of this section and tested for 
breaking strength by the procedure described in 
paragraph (b) of this section. The median values 
for the breaking strengths determined on abraded 
and unabraded specimens shall be used to calculate 
the percentage of braking strength retained. 

(e) Resistance to light. [Webbing at least 20 
inches or 50 centimeters in length from three seat 
belt assemblies shall be suspended vertically on the 
inside of the specimen rack in a Type E carbon-arc 
light-exposure apparatus described in Standard 
Practice for Operating Light-Exposure Apparatus 
(Carbon-Arc Type) With and Without Water for 
Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials, ASTM 
Designation: G23-81, published by the American 
Society for Testing and Materials, except that the 
filter used for 100 percent polyester yarns shall be 
chemically strengthened soda-lime glass with a 
transmittance of less than 5 percent for wave 
lengths equal to or less than 305 nanometers and 
90 percent or greater transmittance for wave 
lengths of 375 to 800 nanometers. The apparatus 
shall be operated without water spray at an air 
temperature of 60° ±2 degrees Celsius or 
140° ±3.6 degrees Fahrenheit measured at a point 
1.0 ±0.2 inch or 25 ±5 millimeters outside the 
specimen rack and midway in height. The 
temperature sensing element shall be shielded 
from radiation. The specimens shall be exposed to 
light from the carbon arc for 100 hours and then 
conditioned as prescribed in paragraph (a) of this 
section. The colorfastness of the exposed and con- 
ditioned specimens shall be determined on the 
Geometric Gray Scale issued by the American 
Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. The 
breaking strength of the specimens shall be deter- 



mined by the procedure prescribed in paragraph (b) 
of this section. The median values for the breaking 
strengths determined on exposed and unexposed 
specimens shall be used to calculate the percentage 
of breaking strength retained. (49 F.R. 36507— 
September 18, 1984. Effective: September 18, 1985)1 

(f) Resistance to micro-organisms. Webbing at 
least 20 inches or 50 centimeters in length from 
three seat belt assemblies shall first be precondi- 
tioned in accordance with Appendix A(l) and (2) of 
American Association of Textile Chemists and Col- 
orists Test Method 30-81, "Fungicides Evaluation 
on Textiles; Mildew and Rot Resistance of Tex- 
tiles," and then subjected to Test I, "Soil Burial 
Test" of that test method. After soil-burial for a 
period of 2 weeks, the specimen shall be washed in 
water, dried and conditioned as prescribed in 
paragraph (a) of this section. The breaking 
strengths of the specimens shall be determined 

by the procedure prescribed in paragraph (b) of this j 
section. The median values for the breaking | 
strengths determined on exposed and unexposed ' 
specimens shall be used to calculate the percentage ,^i 
of breaking strength retained. | ] 

Note.— This test shall not be required on webbing 
made from material which is inherently resistant 
to micro-organisms. 

(g) Colorfastness to crocking. Webbing from 
three seat belt assemblies shall be tested by the 
procedure specified in American Association of 
Textile Chemists and Colorists Standard Test 
Method 8-181, "Colorfastness to Crocking: 
AATCC Crockmeter Method." 

(h) Colorfastness to staining. Webbing from 
three seat belt assemblies shall be tested by the 
procedure specified in American Association of 
Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Standard 
Test Method 107-1981, "Colorfastness to Water," 
except that the testing shall use (1) distilled water, 
(2) the AATCC perspiration tester, (3) a drying 
time of four hours, specified in section 7.4 of the 
AATCC procedure, and (4) section 9 of the AATCC 
test procedures to determine the colorfastness to 
staining on the AATCC Chromatic Transference 
Scale. 

S5.2 Hardware. 

(a) Corrosion resistance. Three seat belt di 
assemblies shall be tested in accordance with ^1 
American Society for Testing and Materials 



(Rev. 9/18/84) 



PART 571; S 209-8 



B 117-73, "Standard Method of Salt Spray (Fog) 
Testing." Any surface coating or material not in- 
tended for permanent retention on the metal parts 
during service life shall be removed prior to 
preparation of the test specimens for testing. The 
period of test shall be 50 hours for all attachment 
hardware at or near the floor, consisting of two 
periods of 24 hours exposure to salt spray followed 
by 1 hour drying and 25 hours for all other hard- 
ware, consisting of one period of 24 hours exposiu-e 
to salt spray followed by 1 hour drying. In the salt 
spray test chamber, the parts from the three 
assemblies shall be oriented differently, selecting 
those orientations most likely to develop corrosion 
on the larger areas. At the end of test, the seat belt 
assembly shall be washed thoroughly with water to 
remove the salt. After drying for at least 24 hours 
under standard laboratory conditions specified in 
S5.1(a) attachment hardware shall be examined for 
ferrous corrosion on significant surfaces, that is, 
all surfaces that can be contacted by a sphere 0.75 
inch or 2 centimeters in diameter, and other hard- 
ware shall be examined for ferrous and nonferrous 
corrosion which may be transferred, either directly 
or by means of the webbing, to a person or his 
clothing during use of a seat belt assembly incor- 
porating the hardware. 

Note.— When attachment and other hardware are 
permanently fastened, by sewing or other means, to 



FORCE 



Full Threaded bolt 
attachment hardware 

OR 
SIMULATED FIXTURE 



A- 2 FULL THREADS 
B->0 4 INCH (I CM) 



BELT SECTIONS 

OR 

OTHER CONNECTION 




-20 NF OR 
I/2-I3NC 
THREADS 



SHOULDER BOLT 
EYE BOLT 



BOLT ANCHORAGE 



the same piece of webbing, separate assemblies shall 
be used to test the two types of hardware. The test 
for corrosion resistance shall not be required for at- 
tachment hardware made from corrosion-resistant 
steel containing at least 11.5 percent chromium or 
for attachment hardware protected with an electro- 
deposited coating of nickel, or copper and nickel, as 
prescribed in S4.3(a). The assembly that has been 
used to test the corrosion resistance of the buckle 
shall be used to measure adjustment force, tilt-lock 
adjustment, and buckle latch in paragraphs (e), (f) 
and (g), respectively, of this section, assembly per- 
formance in S5.3 and buckle release force in para- 
graph (d) of this section. 

(b) Temperature resistance. Three seat belt 
assemblies having plastic or nonmetallic hardware 
or having retractors shall be subjected to the condi- 
tions prescribed in Procedure D of American So- 
ciety for Testing and Materials D756-78, "Stand- 
ard Practice for Determination of Weight and 
Shape Changes of Plastics under Accelerated 
Service Conditions." The dimension and weight 
measurement shall be omitted. Buckles shall be 
unlatched and retractors shall be fully retracted 
during conditioning. The hardware parts after con- 
ditioning shall be used for all applicable tests in 
S4.3 and S4.4. 

(c) Attachment hardware. 

(1) Attachment bolts used to secure the pelvic 
restraint of a seat belt assembly to a motor ve- 
hicle shall be tested in a manner similar to that 
shown in Figure 3. The load shall be applied at an 
angle of 45 degrees to the axis of the bolt 
through attachment hardware from the seat belt 
assembly, or through a special fixture which 
simulates the loading applied by the attachment 
hardware. The attachment hardware or simulated 
fixture shall be fastened by the bolt to the anchor- 



FORCE VERTICAL 



FORCE VERTICAL 



HORIZONTAL 




FORCE 
HORIZONTAL 



1 

J 



FIGURE 3 



FIXTURE 



FIGURE 4 

SINGLE ATTACHMENT HOOK 



777777777777 



(Rtv. 9/18/S4) 



PART 571; S 209-9 



age shown in Figure 3, which has a standard 7/ 
16-20 UNF-2B or 1/2-13 UNC-2B threaded 
hole in a hardened steel plate at least 0.4 inch or 
1 centimeter in thickness. The bolt shall be in- 
stalled with two full threads exposed from the 
fully seated position. The appropriate force re- 
quired by S4.3(c) shall be applied. A bolt from 
each of three seat belt assemblies shall be tested. 

(2) Attachment hardware, other than bolts, 
designed to receive the ends of two seat belt 
assemblies shall be subjected to a tensile force of 
6,000 pounds or 2,720 kilograms in a manner 
simulating use. The hardware shall be examined 
for fracture after the force is released. Attach- 
ment hardware from three seat belt assemblies 
shall be tested. 

(3) Single attachment hook for connecting 
webbing to any eye bolt shall be tested in the 
following manner: The hook shall be held rigidly 
so that the retainer latch or keeper, with cotter 
pin or other locking device in place, is in a 
horizontal position as shown in Figure 4. A force 
of 150 ±2 pounds or 68 ± 1 kilograms shall be ap- 
plied vertically as near as possible to the free end 
of the retainer latch, and the movement of the 
latch by this force at the point of application shall 
be measured. The vertical force shall be released, 
and a force of 150 ± 2 pounds or 68 ± 1 kilograms 
shall be applied horizontally as near as possible 
to the free end of the retainer latch. The move- 
ment of the latch by this force at the point of load 
application shall be measured. Alternatively, the 
hook may be held in other positions, provided the 
forces are applied and the movements of the 
latch are measured at the points indicated in 
Figure 4. A single attachment hook from each of 
three seat belt assemblies shall be tested. 

(d) Biickle release. 

(1) Three seat belt assemblies shall be tested 
to determine compliance with the maximum 
buckle release force requirements, following the 
assembly test in S5.3. After subjection to the 
force applicable for the assembly being tested, 
the force shall be reduced and maintained at 150 
pounds on the assembly loop of a Type 1 seat belt 
assembly, 75 pounds on the components of a 
Type 2 seat belt assembly. The buckle release 
force shall be measured by applying a force on 
the buckle in a manner and direction typical of 
those which would be employed by a seat belt oc- 
cupant. For pushbutton-release buckles, the 
force shall be applied at least 0.125 inch from the 



edge of the push-button access opening of the 
buckle in a direction that produces maximum 
releasing effect. For lever-release buckles, the 
force shall be applied on the centerline of the 
buckle level or finger tab in a direction that pro- 
duces maximum releasing effect. 

(2) The area for application of release force on 
pushbutton actuated buckle shall be measured to 
the nearest 0.05 square inch or 0.3 square cen- 
timeter. The cylinder specified in S4.3(d) shall be 
inserted in the actuation portion of a lever 
release buckle for determination of compliance 
vnth the requirement. A buckle with other 
release actuation shall be examined for access of 
release by fingers. 

(3) The buckle of a Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt 
assembly shall be subjected to a compressive 
force of 400 pounds applied anywhere on a test 
line that is coincident with the centerline of the 
belt extended through the buckle or on any line 
that extends over the center of the release 
mechanism and intersects the extended 
centerline of the belt at an angle of 60°. The load 
shall be applied by using a curved cylindrical bar | 
having a cross section diameter of 0.75 inch and 

a radius of curvature of 6 inches, placed with its 
longitudinal centerline along the test line and its 
center directly above the point on the buckle to 
which the load will be applied. The buckle shall be 
latched, and a tensile force of 75 pounds shall be 
applied to the connected webbing during the ap- 
plication of the compressive force. Buckles from 
three seat belt assemblies shall be tested to 
determine compliance with paragraph S4.3(d) (3). 

(e) Adjustment force. Three seat belt assemblies 
shall be tested for adjustment force on the webbing 
at the buckle, or other manual adjusting device 
normally used to adjust the size of the assembly. 
With no load on the anchor end, the webbing shall 
be drawn through the adjusting device at a rate of 
20 ± 2 inches per minute or 50 ± 5 centimeters per 
minute and the maximum force shall be measured 
to the nearest 0.25 pound or 0.1 kilogram after the 
first 1.0 inch or 25 millimeters of webbing move- 
ment. The webbing shall be precycled 10 times 
prior to measurement. 

(f) Tilt-lock adjustment. This test shall be made 
on buckles or other manual adjusting devices hav- 
ing tilt-lock adjustment normally used to adjust the i 
size of the assembly. Three buckles or devices shall ' 
be tested. The base of the adjustment mechanism 



PART 571; S 209-10 



and the anchor end of the webbing shall be oriented 
in planes normal to each other. The webbing shall be 
drawn through the adjustment mechanism in a direc- 
tion to increase belt length at a rate of 20 ± 2 inches 
per minute or 50 ± 5 centimeters per minute while the 
plane of the base is slowly rotated in a direction to 
lock the webbing. Rotation shall be stopped when the 
webbing locks, but the pull on the webbing shall be 
continued until there is a resistance of at least 20 
pounds or 9 kilograms. The locking angle between 
the anchor end of the webbing and the base of the ad- 
justment mechanism shall be measured to the 
nearest degree. The webbing shall be precycled 10 
times prior to measurement. 

(g) Buckle latch. The buckles from three seat belt 
assemblies shall be opened fully and closed at least 
10 times. [Then the buckles shall be clamped or 
firmly held against a flat surface so as to permit 
normal movement of buckle parts, but with the 
metal mating plate (metal-to-metal buckles) or 
webbing end (metal-to-webbing buckles) with- 
drawn from the buckle.) The release mechanism 
shall be moved 200 times through the maximum 
possible travel against its stop with a force of 30 ± 3 
pounds or 14 ± 1 kilograms at a rate not to exceed 
30 cycles per minute. The buckle shall be examined 
to determine compliance with the performance re- 
quirements of S4.3(g). A metal-to-metal buckle 
shall be examined to determine whether partial 
engagement is possible by means of any technique 
representative of actual use. If partial engagement 
is possible, the maximum force of separation when 
in such partial engagement shall be determined. 

(h) Nonlocking retractor. After the retractor is 
cycled 10 times by full extension and retraction of 
the webbing, the retractor and webbing shall be 
suspended vertically and a force of 4 pounds or 1.8 
kilograms shall be applied to extend the webbing 
from the retractor. The force shall be reduced to 3 
pounds or 1.4 kilograms when attached to a pelvic 
restraint, or to 1.1 pounds or 0.5 kilogram per strap 
or webbing that contacts the shoulder of an occu- 
pant when retractor is attached to an upper-torso 
restraint. The residual extension of the webbing 
shall be measured by manual rotation of the retrac- 
tor drum or by disengaging the retraction 
mechanism. Measurements shall be made on three 
retractors. The location of the retractor attached to 
upper-torso restraint shall be examined for visibility 
of reel during use of seat belt assembly in a vehicle. 

Note.— This test shall not be required on a nonlock- 
ing retractor attached to the free-end of webbing 
which is not subjected to any tension during restraint 
of an occupant by the assembly. (45 F.R. 29045 — May 
1. 1980. Effective: 5/1/80) 



(i) Automatic-locking retractor. Three retrac- 
tors shall be tested in a manner to permit the re- 
traction force to be determined exclusive of the 
gravitational forces on hardware or webbing being 
retracted. The webbing shall be fully extended 
from the retractor. While the webbing is being re- 
tracted, the average force of retraction within plus 
or minus 2 inches or 5 centimeters of 75 percent 
extension (25-percent retraction) shall be deter- 
mined and the webbing movement between adja- 
cent locking segments shall be measured in the 
same region of extension. A seat belt assembly 
with automatic locking retractor in upper torso 
restraint shall be tested in a vehicle in a manner 
prescribed by the installation and usage instruc- 
tions. The retraction force on the occupant of the 
seat belt assembly shall be determined before and 
after traveling for 10 minutes at a speed of 15 
miles per hour or 24 kilometers per hour or more 
over a rough road (e.g., Belgian block road) where 
the occupant is subjected to displacement with re- 
spect to the vehicle in both horizontal and vertical 
directions. Measurements shall be made with the 
vehicle stopped and the occupant in the normal 
seated position. 

(j) Emergency-locking retractor. A retractor 
shall be tested in a manner that permits the retrac- 
tion force to be determined exclusive of the gravi- 
tational forces on hardware or webbing being re- 
tracted. The webbing shall be fully extended from 
the retractor, passing over or through any hard- 
ware or other material specified in the installation 
instructions. While the webbing is being retracted, 
the lowest force of retraction within plus or minus 
2 inches of 75 percent extension shall be deter- 
mined. A retractor that is sensitive to webbing 
withdrawal shall be subjected to an acceleration of 
0.3g within a period of 50 milliseconds while the 
webbing is at 75-percent extension, to determine 
compliance with S4.3(j) (2). The retractor shall be 
subjected to an acceleration of 0.7g within a period 
of 50 milliseconds, while the webbing is at 
75-percent extension, and the webbing movement 
before locking shall be measured under the follow- 
ing conditions: For a retractor sensitive to web- 
bing withdrawal, the retractor shall be accelerated 
in the direction of webbing retraction while the 
retractor drum's central axis is oriented horizon- 
tally and at angles of 45°, 90°, 135°, and 180° to 
the horizontal plane. For a retractor sensitive to 
vehicle acceleration, the retractor shall be— 



(Rev. 5/1/80) 



PART 571; S 209-11 



(1) accelerated in the horizontal plane in two 
directions normal to each other, while the retrac- 
tor drum's central axis is oriented at the angle at 
which it is installed in the vehicle; and, 

(2) accelerated in three directions normal to 
each other while the retractor drum's central 
axis is oriented at angles of 45°, 90°, 135° and 
180° from the angle at which it is installed in the 
vehicle, unless the retractor locks by gravita- 
tional force when tilted in any direction to any 
angle greater than 45° from the angle at which it 
is installed in the vehicle. 

(k) Performance of retractor. After completion 
of the corrosion-resistance test described in para- 
graph (a) of this section, the webbing shall be fully 
extended and allowed to dry for at least 24 hours 
under standard laboratory conditions specified in 
S5.1(a). (Then, the retractor and webbing shall be 
subjected to dust in a chamber similar to one il- 
lustrated in Figure 8 containing about 2 pounds or 
0.9 kilogram of coarse grade dust conforming to 
the specification given in Society of Automotive 
Engineering Recommended Practice J726, "Air 
Cleaner Test Code" Sept. 1979. 1 The webbing 
shall be withdrawn manually and allowed to 
retract for 25 cycles. The retractor shall be 
mounted in an apparatus capable of extending the 
webbing fully, applying a force of 20 pounds or 9 
kilograms at full extension, and allowing the web- 
bing to retract freely and completely. The webbing 
shall be withdrawn from the retractor and allowed 
to retract repeatedly in this apparatus until 2,500 
cycles are completed. The retractor and webbing 
shall then be subjected to the temperature 
resistance test prescribed in paragraph (b) of this 
section. The retractor shall be subjected to 2,500 
additional cycles of webbing withdrawal and 
retraction. Then, the retractor and webbing shall 
be subjected to dust in a chamber similar to one il- 
lustrated in Figure 6 containing about 2 pounds or 
0.9 kilogram of coarse grade dust conforming to 
the specification given in SAE Recommended 
Practice, Air Cleaner Test Code-SAE J726a, 
published by the Society of Automotive Engineers. 
The dust shall be agitated every 20 minutes for 5 
seconds by compressed air, free of oil and 
moisture, at a gage pressure of 80 ±8 pounds per 
square inch or 5.6 ± 0.6 kilograms per square cen- 
timeter entering through an orifice 0.060 ±0.004 
inch or 1.5 ±0.1 millimeters in diameter. The web- 



bing shall be extended to the top of the cham- 
ber and kept extended at all times except that the 
webbing shall be subjected to 10 cycles of com- 
plete retraction and extension within 1 to 2 
minutes after each agitation of the dust. At the 
end of 5 hours, the assembly shall be removed 
from the chamber. The webbing shall be fully 
withdrawn from the retractor manually and al- 
lowed to retract completely for 25 cycles. An 
automatic-locking retractor or a nonlocking re- 
tractor attached to pelvic restraint shall be sub- 
jected to 5,000 additional cycles of webbing 
withdrawal and retraction. An emergency-locking 
retractor or a nonlocking retractor attached to 
upper-torso restraint shall be subjected to 45,000 
additional cycles of webbing withdrawal and 
retraction between 50 and 100 percent extension. 
The locking mechanism of an emergency-locking 
retractor shall be actuated at least 10,000 times 





RETRACTOR 



CYCLING ATTACHMENT 



DUST 
COLLECTOR 



RETRACTOR 



A -20 INCHES OR 
50 CENTIMETERS 

B- 10 INCHES OR 
25 CENTIMETERS 



DUST 



VALVE a FILTER 
• — AIR 



FIGURE 6 



(Rev. 7/30/83) 



PART 571; S 209-12 



within 50 to 100 percent extension of webbing dur- 
ing the 50,000 cycles. At the end of test, 
compliance of the retractors with applicable 
requirements in S4.3(h), (i), and (j) shall be deter- 
mined. Three retractors shall be tested for per- 
formance. (48 F.R. 30138— June 30, 1983. Effective: 
July 30, 1983) 

S5.3 Assembly performance. 

(a) Type 1 seat belt assembly. Three complete 
seat belt assemblies, including webbing, straps, 
buckles, adjustment and attachment hardware, 
and retractors, arranged in the form of a loop as 
shown in Figure 5, shall be tested in the following 
manner: 

(1) The testing machine shall conform to the 
requirements specified in S5.1(b). A double-roller 
block shall be attached to one head of the testing 
machine. This block shall consist of 2 rollers 4 
inches or 10 centimeters in diameter and suffi- 
ciently long so that no part of the seat belt 
assembly touches parts of the block other than 
the rollers during test. The rollers shall be 
mounted on anti-friction bearings and spaced 12 
inches or 30 centimeters between centers, and 
shall have sufficient capacity so that there is no 
brinelling, bending or other distortion of parts 
which may affect the results. An anchorage bar 
shall be fastened to the other head of the testing 
machine. 

(2) The attachment hardware furnished with 
the seat belt assembly shall be attached to the 
anchorage bar. The anchor points shall be spaced 
so that the webbing is parallel in the two sides of 
the loop. The attaching bolts shall be parallel to, 
or at an angle of 45 or 90 degrees to the webbing, 
whichever results in an angle nearest to 90 de- 
grees between webbing and attachment hard- 
ware except that eye bolts shall be vertical, and 
attaching bolts or nonthreaded anchorages of a 
seat belt assembly designed for use in specific 
models of motor vehicles shall be installed to pro- 
duce the maximum angle in use indicated by the 
installation instructions, utilizing special fixtures 
if necessary to simulate installation in the motor 
vehicle. Rigid adapters between anchorage bar 
and attachment hardware shall be used if neces- 
sary to locate and orient the adjustment hard- 
ware. The adapters shall have a flat support face 
perpendicular to the threaded hole for the attach- 
ing bolt and adequate in area to provide full sup- 



port for the base of the attachment hardware 
connected to the webbing. If necessary, a washer 
shall be used under a swivel plate or other attach- 
ment hardware to prevent the webbing from 
being damaged as the attaching bolt is tightened. 
(3) The length of the assembly loop from at- 
taching bolt to attaching bolt shall be adjusted to 
about 51 inches or 130 centimeters, or as near 
thereto as possible. A force of 55 pounds or 25 
kilograms shall be applied to the loop to remove 
any slack in webbing at hardware. The force 
shall be removed and the heads of the testing 
machine shall be adjusted for an assembly loop 
between 48 and 50 inches or 122 and 127 centi- 
meters in length. The length of the assembly loop 
shall then be adjusted by applying a force be- 
tween 20 and 22 pounds or 9 and 10 kilograms to 
the free end of the webbing at the buckle, or by 
the retraction force of an automatic-locking or 
emergency-locking retractor. A seat belt assem- 




-RIGID SPACER 
(JF NEEDED) 



ANCHORAGE BAR 



SISTER HOOKS 



~\ 



ErE BOLT- 



ANCHORAGE 
BAR 

A- 2 INCHES OR 
5 CENTIMETERS 

B- 12 INCHES OR 
30 CENTIMETERS 



FIGURE 5 



PART 571; S 209-13 



bly that cannot be adjusted to this length shall be 
adjusted as closely as possible. An automatic- 
locking or emergency-locking retractor when in- 
cluded in a seat belt assembly shall be locked at 
the start of the test with a tension on the web- 
bing slightly in excess of the retractive force in 
order to keep the retractor locked. The buckle 
shall be in a location so that it does not touch the 
rollers during test, but to facilitate making the 
buckle release test in S5.2(d) the buckle should be 
between the rollers or near a roller in one leg. 

(4) The heads of the testing machine shall be 
separated at a rate between 2 and 4 inches per 
minute or 5 and 10 centimeters per minute until 
a force of 5,000 ±50 pounds or 2,270 ±20 kilo- 
grams is applied to the assembly loop. The exten- 
sion of the loop shall be determined from meas- 
urements of head separation before and after the 
force is applied. The force shall be decreased to 
150 ±10 pounds or 68 ±4 kilograms and the 
buckle release force measured as prescribed in 
S5.2(d). 

(5) After the buckle is released, the webbing 
shall be examined for cutting by the hardware. If 
the yams are partially or completely severed in a 
line for a distance of 10 percent or more of the 
webbing width, the cut webbing shall be tested 
for breaking strength as specified in S5.1(b) lo- 
cating the cut in the free length between grips. If 
there is insufficient webbing on either side of the 
cut to make such a test for breaking strength, 
another seat belt assembly shall be used with the 
webbing repositioned in the hardware. A tensile 
force of 2,500±25 pounds or 1,135± 10 kilograms 
shall be applied to the components or a force of 
5,000 ± 50 pounds or 2,270 ± 20 kilograms shall be 
applied to an assembly loop. After the force is re- 
moved, the breaking strength of the cut webbing 
shall be determined as prescribed above. 

(6) If a Type 1 seat belt assembly includes an 
automatic-locking retractor or an emergency- 
locking retractor, the webbing and retractor 
shall be subjected to a tensile force of 2,500 ±25 
pounds or 1,135 ± 10 kilograms with the webbing 
fully extended from the retractor. 

(7) If a seat belt assembly has a buckle in 
which the tongue is capable of inverted insertion, 
one of the three assemblies shall be tested with 
the tongue inverted. 



(b) Type 2 seat belt assembly. Components of 
three seat belt assemblies shall be tested in the 
following manner: 

(1) The pelvic restraint between anchorages 
shall be adjusted to a length between 48 and 50 
inches or 122 and 127 centimeters, or as near 
this length as possible if the design of the pelvic 
restraint does not permit its adjustment to this 
length. An automatic-locking or emergency-lock- 
ing retractor when included in a seat belt assem- 
bly shall be locked at the start of the test with a 
tension on the webbing slightly in excess of the 
retractive force in order to keep the retractor 
locked. The attachment hardware shall be ori- 
ented to the webbing as specified in paragraph 
(a) (2) of this section and illustrated in Figure 5. 
A tensile force of 2,500±25 poimds or 1,135± 10 
kilograms shall be applied on the components in 
any convenient manner and the extension be- 
tween anchorages under this force shall be meas- 
ured. The force shall be reduced to 75 ± 5 pounds 



SHORTENING STROKE 



BUCKLE (C) 



PIVOT 




HINGE STOP (E 



WEBBING (A) 

- 3 LB, WEIGHT (B) 



NO TENSION ■ 



T 



BUCKLE (C) 



PIVOT 



WEBBING (A) 




LENGTHENING STROKE 



NO TENSION 



HINGE STOP (E) 



3 LB WEIGHT (B) 



PART 571; S 209-14 



or 34 ± 2 kilograms and the buckle release force 
measured as prescribed in S5.2(d). 

(2) The components of the upper-torso restraint 
shall be subjected to a tensile force of 1,500 ± 15 
pounds or 680 ± 5 kilograms following the proce- 
dure prescribed above for testing pelvic restraint 
and the extension between anchorages under this 
force shall be measured. If the testing apparatus 
permits, the pelvic and upper-torso restraints 
may be tested simultaneously. The force shall be 
reduced to 75 ± 5 pounds or 34 ± 2 kilograms and 
the buckle release force measured as prescribed 
in S5.2(d). 

(3) Any component of the seat belt assembly 
common to both pelvic and upper-torso restraint 
shall be subjected to a tensile force of 3,000 ±30 
pounds or 1,360 ±15 kilograms. 

(4) After the buckle is released in tests of 
pelvic and upper-torso restraints, the webbing 
shall be examined for cutting by the hardware. If 
the yams are partially or completely severed in a 
line for a distance of 10 percent or more of the 
webbing width, the cut webbing shall be tested 
for breaking strength as specified in S5.1(b) 
locating the cut in the free length between grips. 
If there is insufficient webbing on either side of 
the cut to make such a test for breaking 
strength, another seat belt assembly shall be 
used with the webbing repositioned in the hard- 
ware. The force applied shall be 2,500 ±25 
pounds or 1,135 ±10 kilograms for components 
of pelvic restraint, and 1,500 ±15 pounds or 
680 ± 5 kilograms for components of upper-torso 
restraint. After the force is removed, the break- 
ing strength of the cut webbing shall be deter- 
mined as prescribed above. 



(5) If a Type 2 seat belt assembly includes an 
automatic-locking retractor or an emergency- 
locking retractor, the webbing and retractor 
shall be subjected to a tensile force of 2,500 ±25 
pounds or 1,135 ± 10 kilograms with the webbing 
fully extended from the retractor, or to a tensile 
force of 1,500 ±15 pounds or 680 ±5 kilograms 
with the webbing fully extended from the retrac- 
tor if the design of the assembly permits only 
upper-torso restraint forces on the retractor. 

(6) If a seat belt assembly has a buckle in 
which the tongue is capable of inverted insertion, 
one of the three assemblies shall be tested with 
the tongue inverted. 

(c) Resistance to buckle abrasion. Seatbelt 
assemblies shall be tested for resistance to abrasion 
by each buckle or manual adjusting device normally 
used to adjust the size of the assembly. The webbing 
of the assembly to be used in this test shall be ex- 
posed for 4 hours to an atmosphere having relative 
humidity of 65 percent and temperature of 70° F. 
The webbing shall be pulled back and forth through 
the buckle or manugd adjusting device as shown 
schematically in Figure 7. The anchor end of the 
webbing (A) shall be attached to a weight (B) of 3 
pounds. The webbing shall pass through the buckle 
(C), and the other end (D) shall be attached to a 
reciprocating device so that the webbing forms an 
angle of 8° with the hinge stop (E). The 
reciprocating device shall be operated for 2,500 
cycles at a rate of 18 cycles per minute with a stroke 
length of 8 inches. The abraded webbing shall be 
tested for breaking strength by the procedure 
described in paragraph S5.1(b). 

44 F.R. 72131 
December 13, 1979 



PART 571; S 209-15-16 



rf 



Eff«cllv«: Jgnuary 1, 1972 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 

Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages — Passenger Cars, Multipurpose 
Passenger Vehicles, Trucks and Buses 

(Docket No. 2-14; Notice No. 4) 



An amendment to Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly Anchor- 
ages, was published on October 1, 1970 (35 F.R. 
15293). Thereafter, pursuant to §553.35 of the 
procedural rules (49 CFR 553.35, 35 F.R. 5119), 
petitions for reconsideration were filed by Rolls 
Royce, Ltd., International Harvester Co., Chrys- 
ler Corp., Ford Motor Co., General Motors 
Corp., the Automobile Manufacturers Associa- 
tion, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd., American Motors, 
Jeep Corp., Chrysler United Kingdom, Ltd., and 
Checker Motors Corp. 

In response to information contained in the 
petitions, and other considerations, certain re- 
quirements of the standard are hereby amended 
and the effective date of the standard with re- 
spect to passenger cars is postponed until Janu- 
ary 1, 1972. The petitions for relief from cer- 
tain other requirements of the standard are 
denied. 

1. The effective date of the amended standard 
with respect to passenger cars was to have been 
January 1, 1971. Each petitioner claimed to be 
unable to produce vehicles conforming to the 
amended standard by that date. Those who pro- 
vided lead time information indicated that 
several months would be needed, with estimates 
ranging from March 31, 1971, for Rolls Royce, to 
January 1, 1972, for a number of manufacturers. 
A January 1972 effective date would have the ad- 
vantage of coinciding with the effective date pro- 
posed for the closely related interim standard on 
occupant crash protection (Docket 69-7, Notice 
6, 35 F.R. 14941). Since the amendments with 
respect ;o passenger cars are intended primarily 
to enliincH the enforceability of the standard 
rath*".- rhan to provide new levels of safety, it 



has been determined that good cause has been 
shown for establishing an effective date for pas- 
senger cars of January 1, 1972. 

With a single exception, the requests for post- 
ponement of the effective date of the standard 
with respect to multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
trucks, and buses, are denied. One of the pri- 
mary reasons for amending the standard was to 
extend the protection afforded by seat belts to 
occupants of these types of vehicles. A post- 
ponement of effective date would leave these ve- 
hicles completely without anchorage requirements 
for an additional 6 months. Although manu- 
facturers who have been installing anchorages 
may find it necessary to reexamine the strength 
and location of their anchorages, this is not con- 
sidered a sufficient ground for postponing the 
effective date. 

International Harvester requested a postpone- 
ment until January 1, 1972, in the date on which 
upper torso restraint anchorages will be revquired 
on seats other than front seats in multipurpose 
passenger vehicles. On consideration of the lead 
time difficulties that have been demonstrated by 
this manufacturer, the Director regards the re- 
quest as reasonable and has decided to grant the 
requested postponement. 

2. A number of petitions requested reconsid- 
eration of the sections dealing with anchorage 
location. Section S4.3.1.4 of the standard states 
that "Anchorages for an individual seat belt as- 
sembly shall be located at least 13.75 inches apart 
laterally for outboard seats and at least 6.75 
mches apart laterally for other seats." 

General Motors stated that several of its ve- 
hicles have anchorages for the center seating 
position that are 6.50 inches apart, that some of 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 1 



Effactlva: January 1, 1972 



the anchorages for outboard seats are less than 
13.75 inches apart, and that there is no basis 
either for setting a minimum spacing, or for 
setting different minimum spacings for different 
seating positions. Similar comments were made 
by AMA, Chrysler, Ford and American Motors. 

As originally issued, Standard No. 210 had re- 
quired anchorages to be "as near as practicable, 
15 inches apart laterally." To make the stand- 
ard more precise and more easily enforceable, 
the notice of September 20, 1969 (34 F.R. 14658), 
proposed to delete the qualifying language and 
to require that anchorages be 15 inches apart 
laterally. The comments indicated that anchor- 
ages for center seating positions, particularly the 
front positions, would require complete reloca- 
tion. The available data on the effects of anchor- 
age spacing were not regarded as conclusive 
enough to justify imposing this burden on the 
manufacturers, and the spacing for anchorages 
for inboard locations was accordingly reduced 
to 6.75 inches in the amended standard. With- 
out clearer biomechanical data, the intent was to 
adopt the prevailing industry minimum as the 
standard. The same rationale applied to out- 
board seating position, where the 15-inch spac- 
ing was reduced to 13.75 inches. 

It now appears that both spacing employed in 
the amended standard failed to reflect prevailing 
locations. The Director is accordingly amending 
section S4.3.1.4 to establish a minimum spacing 
of 6.50 inches. 

A further problem with the spacing require- 
ment arises from the use of "anchorage" as the 
reference point for measurement. As long as the 
standard used the qualifying language "as near 
as practicable," there was no difficulty. Removal 
of that phrase by the notice of September 20, 
1969, created a problem of interpretation that 
escaped comment until after issuance of the 
amended standard. Several petitioners com- 
mented that they do not know what point to use 
for measurement. The director concedes the de- 
ficiency, and accordingly amends section S4.3.1.4 
to specify that the spacing is "measured betyv-een 
the vertical centerlines of the bolt holes." 

In conjunction with its request for a reduction 
of the spacing requirement. General Motors 
stated that where structural members betw ^en the 



anchorage and the seating position have the ef- 
fect of spreading the seat belt loop apart, the 
spacing should be measured between the widest 
contact points on the structure. Since the 
strength of these structural members is not reg- 
ulated, there is no assurance that their perform- 
ance in a crash will be equal to that of properly 
spaced anchorages. The request offers no im- 
provement in occupant crash protection, and 
may, in fact, diminish such protection. The re- 
quest is therefore denied. 

3. The amended standard's other location re- 
quirements concern the placement of anchorages 
to achieve desirable seat belt angles. Sections 
S4.3.1.1 and S4.3.1.3 each use the "nearest belt 
contact point on the anchorage" as the lower 
point defining the line whose angle is to be 
measured. Several petitions expressed uncer- 
tainty as to the point described, and on recon- 
sideration the Director agrees that clarification 
is needed. 

In the notice of proposed rule making that 
preceded the amended standard (34 F.R. 14658, 
Sept. 20, 1969) the line had been run to the 
"anchorage". This usage lacked precision, as 
stated by several comments. In an attempt to 
define a line that would closely approximate the 
actual belt angle, the language in question was 
adopted. The problem lies in the use of the word 
"anchorage", since in most installations the belt 
does not actually contact the anchorage. The 
point intended was, in fact, the nearest contact 
point of the belt webbing with the hardware 
that attaches it to the anchorage. In the typical 
installation, this point would be on an angle plate 
bolted to the anchorage. Sections S4.3.1.1 and 
S4.3.1.3 are accordingly amended to use the 
phrase "the nearest contact point of the belt with 
the hardware attaching it to the anchorage." 

4. The test procedures of S5.1 and S5.2 were 
the subject of several requests for reconsidera- 
tion. Most petitioners stated that the test was 
not representative of crash conditions, and 
several suggested that it should be displaced by 
a dynamic test. Times suggested for such a 
dynamic test ranged from 0.1 second to 1.0 sec- 
ond, and were said to be the tests used by the 
petitioners, or by one or another of the interna- 
tional standards organizations. The require- 
ment for a 10-second hold period at maximum 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 2 



EffacHv*: January 1, 1972 



load attracted the most strongly adverse com- 
ment. 

From its inception, Standard No. 210 has con- 
templated a static test. The notice of proposed 
rule making of September 20, 1969, proposed a 
test that was clearly static, in that it involved 
a slow rate of load application (2 to 4 inches per 
minute). In response to comments that the rate 
was too slow, and to avoid problems of inter- 
pretation as to where the rate of pull was to be 
measured, the procedures were amended to 
specify the rate of load application in time rather 
than distance, with the full load reached in a 
period of from 0.1 to 30 seconds. It should be 
noted that the vehicle must be capable of meeting 
the requirements when tested at any rate within 
this range. To insure that the basic strength of 
the structure would be measured whatever the 
shape of the load application curve, a hold period 
of 10 seconds was specified. The procedures of 
the amended standard do no more than give more 
specific form to the test contemplated in the 
original standard. 

The postponement of the effective date of the 
amended standard will provide additional time 
for passenger car manufacturers to assure them- 
selves of compliance with the standard. After 
consideration of the issues raised in the petitions 
for reconsideration, the Director has concluded 
that the tests prescribed by the standard are rea- 
sonable, practicable, and appropriate for the af- 
fected motor vehicles. The petitions for recon- 
sideration of sections S5.1 and 85.2 are therefore 
denied. 

5. Two petitioners. Rolls Royce and General 
Motors, stated that it was not practicable to use 

I the "seat back" in determining the angle of the 
torso line in S4.3.2, in that the seat back angle 
may vary according to which of its surfaces is 
measured. Although there may be instances 
where the angle of the seat back is difficult to 
determine, questions arising from such instances 
can be resolved, if necessary, by administrative 
interpretation, and it has been decided to retain 
the reference to "seat back" in section S4.3.2. 

6. Several petitioners stated that the sub- 
I stitution of the word "device" for "provision" in 
* the definition of seat belt anchorage appeared to 

I change the meaning of that term. No substan- 



tive change was intended, and since the reword- 
ing has caused some misunderstanding, the Di- 
rector has decided to return to the original 
wording. 

7. General Motors also petitioned to reinstate 
the provision in section S4.3.2 that would allow 
the upper torso restraint angle to be measured 
from the shoulder to the anchorage "or to a 
structure between the shoulder point and the 
anchorage". The phrase rendered uncertain the 
effective angle of the belt under stress. The 
quoted language was deleted in the notice of 
September 20, 1969, and no sufficient reason has 
been given for reinstating it. The request is 
therefore denied. 

8. Toyota Motor Co. requested that sections 
S5.1 and S5.2 be amended to allow use of body 
blocks equivalent to those specified. Although 
the standard provides that an anchorage must 
meet the strength requirements when tested with 
the specified blocks, manufacturers may use 
whatever methods they wish to ascertain that 
their products meet these requirements when so 
tested, as long as their methods constitute due 
care. If the Toyota procedures are, in fact, 
equivalent, there is no need to amend the stand- 
ard to accommodate them. The request is there- 
fore denied. 

In consideration of the foregoing. Motor Ve- 
hicle Safety Standard No. 210, in §571.21 of 
Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations is 
amended. . . . 

Effective date. For the reasons given above, 
it has been determined that the effective date of 
the amended standard shall be January 1, 1972, 
for passenger cars. The effective date for multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses 
shall be July 1, 1971, except that the effective 
date for installation of anchorages for upper 
torso restraints for seating positions other than 
front outboard designated seating positions shall 
be January 1, 1972. 

Issued on November 20, 1970. 

Charles H. Hartman, 
Acting Director. 

35 F.R. 18116 
Nov. 26, 1970 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 3-4 



Effectlva: July 1, 1971 

Januaiy I, 1972 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 

Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages and Seat Belt Installations; 
Reconsideration and Amendment 

(Docket No. 2-14; Notice No. 4) 



The purpose of this notice is to amend Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standards No. 208 and 210, with 
respect to the installation of shoulder belts in 
multipurpose passenger vehicles exceeding 10,000 
pounds GVWR and the provision of anchorages 
for shoulder belts in vehicles other than passen- 
ger cars. 

The seat belt installation standard was amended 
on September 30, 1970, to require installation of 
seat belts in multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
trucks, and buses manufactured after July 1, 
1971 (35 F.R. 15222). Exemptions from the 
requirement for shoulder belt installation were 
provided for certain types and weights of ve- 
hicles. 

During the course of the subsequent rulemak- 
ing activity which led to the issuance of the 
occupant crash protection standard, it was de- 
termined that the larger weight classes of trucks 
and multipurpose passenger vehicles should not 
be required to install shoulder belts (35 F.R. 
14941, 35 F.R. 16937, 36 F.R. 4600). The stand- 
ard therefore required lap belts, but not shoulder 
belts, for vehicles over 10,000 pounds GVWR, 
effective January 1, 1972. The September 30 
amendment, which is to become effective six 
months earlier than the occupant crash protection 
rule, had provided a similar exemption for large 
trucks but not for multipurpose passenger ve- 
hicles, with the result that shoulder belts would 
have been required for many large multipurpose 
passenger vehicles during the period July 1, 1971- 
Januarj- 1, 1972, but not afterward. To correct 
this inconsistency, the seat belt installation stand- 
ard is amended, effective July 1, 1971, to exempt 
multipurpose passenger vehicles of more than 



10,000 pounds GVWR from the shoulder belt 
requirement. 

In accordance with the foregoing, section S3.1 
of Standard No. 208, as published September 30, 
1970 (35 F.R. 15222) is amended effective July 1, 
1971 

Standard No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly Anchor- 
ages, presently requires vehicles other than pas- 
senger cars to have shoulder belt anchorages 
installed at front outboard seating positions by 
July 1, 1971, and at rear outboard seating posi- 
tions by January 1, 1972 (35 F.R. 15293, 35 F.R. 
18116, 36 F.R. 4291). The Recreational Vehicle 
Institute has petitioned for an amendment of the 
standard, to delete the requirement for shoulder 
belt anchorages at positions where shoulder belt 
installation is not required by Standard No. 208. 

It has" been found .that this petition has merit. 
The probability of shoulder belt installation by 
the owners of these vehicles is very small, and 
the difficulty of anchorage installation, particu- 
larly in multipurpose passenger vehicles, is often 
greater than in passenger cars. The amendment 
is therefore considered to be in the public interest. 

The request by RVI for a postponement of the 
July 1, 1971, effective date for installation of 
shoulder belt anchorages has not been found jus- 
tified, and the petition is in that respect denied. 

In accordance with the foregoing, section S4.1.1 
of the present Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
No. 210 (effective July 1, 1971), and the amended 
Standard No. 210 as published November 26, 
1970 (35 F.R, 18116, effective January 1, 1972), 
in 49 CFR 571.21, are both amended 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 5 



Eff«cHv«: July 1, 1971 

January 1, 1972 

The effective dates of the amendments made by be unnecessary, and it is found, for good cause 

this notice are as indicated above. Because the shown, that an effective date earlier than 180 

amendments relieve restrictions and impose no ^^y^ after^ issuance is in the public interest, 
additional burden on any person, notice and re- 36 p.R. 9869 

quest for comments on such notice are found to May 29, 1971 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 6 



Effective: May 18, 1978 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 

Seat Belt Anchorages 
(Docket No. 72-23; Notice 3) 



This notice amends Safety Standard No. 210, 
Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, to eliminate the 
"buckle cutout" as an optional configuration of 
the body block test device used for testing the 
strength of lap-shoulder belt anchorages, and to 
clarify the illustration (Figure 2) of body blocks 
used for testing lap belt anchorages. The op- 
tional configuration is being deleted because it 
unnecessarily complicates the test of the anchor- 
ages and is no longer being used by manufac- 
turers. 

Effective Date: May 18, 1978. 

For Further Information Contact: 
William E. Smith, Division of Crashworthi- 
ness, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-2242). 

Supplementary Information : Standard No. 210 
(49 CFR 571.210) requires seat belt anchorages 
in motor vehicles to comply with specified 
strength requirements. The procedure for 
strength testing is set forth in paragraph S5 
of the standard. The tests involve the attach- 
ment of a seat belt to the anchorage, followed 
by tlie application of force to the seat belt which 
is thereby transferred to the anchorage itself. 
Force is applied to Type 1 and Type 2 seat belt 
assemblies through body blocks that simulate the 
human torso. The body blocks are illustrated in 
Figures 2 and 3 of the standard. This notice 
modifies Figures 2 and 3 in accordance with the 
notice of proposed rulemaking issued December 
16. 1076 (41 F.R. 54050). 

Figure 2 describes the body block used for lap 
lielt anchorage testing, and there has been some 
'■onfusion concerning certain minor specifications 
m the Figure. This amendment modifies the 



drawing in Figure 2 to clarify the description 
of the body block. The change does not affect 
the substantive requirements of the standard in 
any way. 

Figure 3 describes the body block used for 
combination shoulder and lap belt anchorage test- 
ing. An optional "buckle cutout" is shown on 
the surface of the body block in Figure 3, per- 
mitting a manufacturer to make an indentation 
in the face of the body block to accommodate 
buckle hardware. NHTSA compliance test ex- 
perience with the cutout demonstrates that the 
edge of the cutout causes additional stress on the 
belt webbing and interferes with its movement, 
thereby interfering with the test of the under- 
lying anchorage. Comments to the proposal 
favored deletion of the "buckle cutout" option 
since it is disadvantageous to manufacturers and 
is no longer being utilized. This amendment, 
therefore, deletes the optional cutout fi-om Fig- 
ure 3. 

General Motors' comment recommended addi- 
tional modifications of the drawing in Figure 2. 
The agency has determined, however, that the 
suggestion to add shading to define the area of 
the body block to be covered by foam padding 
does not significantly alter the clarity of the 
drawing. General Motors also recommended a 
substitute test device for the lap-shoulder belt 
body block. This recommendation will possibly 
be considered in future rulemaking. 

The engineer and lawyer primarily responsible 
for the development of this notice are William 
Smith and Hugh Gates, respectively. 

Since this amendment does not make any sub- 
stantive change in the requirements of the stand- 
ard, it is found that an immediate effective date 
is in the public interest. 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 7 



Effective: May 18, 1978 

In consideration of the foregoing, Standard Issued on May 15, 1978. 
No. 210, 49 CFR 571.210, is amended .... joan Claybrook 

(Sec. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 (15 Administrator 

U.S.C. 1392, 1407); delegation of authority at 43 F.R. 21892 

49 CFR 1.50). May 23, 1978 



( 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 8 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE STANDARD NO. 210 



Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages 

(Docket No. 72-23; Notice 5) 



Action: Final rule. 

Summary: This notice amends Safety Standard 
No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, to 
eliminate the anchorage location requirements for 
passive seat belt assemblies that meet the frontal 
crash protection requirements of Safety Standard 
No. 208. The purpose of the amendment is to 
give manufacturers wider latitude in passive belt 
design in order to facilitate the early introduction 
of passive restraints in existing passenger car 
designs. The amendment will allow manufac- 
turers to experiment with various passive belt 
designs to help determine the optimum relation- 
ship between anchorage location and passive belt 
effectiveness in a variety of crash modes and 
their comfort and convenience. Anchorage loca- 
tion would still be indirectly controlled by the 
necessity for passive belts to comply with the 
Standard No. 208 requirements. 

Eifective date : November 16, 1978. 

Addresses: Petitions for reconsideration should 
refer to the docket number and notice number 
and be submitted to: Docket Section, Room 
5108— Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590. 

For further information contact : 

William Smith, Office of Vehicle Safety 
Standards, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, "Washington, D.C. 20590 
(202) 426-2242. 

Supplementary information: Safety Standard 
No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages (49 
CFR 571.210), specifies zones and acceptable 
ranges within which .seat belt anchorages must 
be located to ensure that the anchorages are in 
the proper location for effective ocx^upant re- 
straint and specifies strength requirements to 



reduce the likelihood of their failure in a crash. 
In response to a petition from General Motors 
Corporation, the NHTSA issued a proposal to 
delete these anchorage location requirements for 
passive belt systems that meet the dynamic 
frontal crash protection requirements of Safety 
Standard No. 208 (4.S FR 22419, May 25, 1978). 
The proposal noted that General Motors would 
like to use a passive belt design whose anchorages, 
in some vehicles, would lie outside the parameters 
specified in the standard. GM stated that the 
anchorage locations of this design are intended 
to ensure the comfort and convenience of the 
passive belt so that it will not be disconnected by 
vehicle users who find current active belts lacking 
in these qualities. General Motors wanted to 
introduce this passive belt design prior to the 
effective date of the passive restraint require- 
ments issued July 5, 1977 (42 FR 34289). As 
stated in the preamble of the proposal, the agency 
has determined manufacturers should be given 
wide latitude in passive belt de.sign in order to 
facilitate the early introduction of passive sys- 
tems, since they should save many lives and 
prevent hundreds to thousands of injuries. Al- 
though the current anchorage location require- 
ments were developed primarily for active belt 
systems, passive belt systems such as the one used 
on the Volkswagen Rabbit have successfully com- 
plied with the anchorage location requirements 
and met the frontal injury criteria of Standard 
No. 208 as well. Nonetheless, manufacturers have 
said they can develop more effective and comfort- 
able passive systems to comply with Standard 
208. The agency thinks they should be given the 
opportunity. Nevertheless, it is the agency's view 
that research should be conducted to determine 
the optimum anchorage locations for the various 
passive belt designs in terms of both passive belt 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 9 



effectiveness and of comfort and convenience for 
vehicle occupants. Accordingly, the earlier notice 
proposed the deletion of the anchorage require- 
ments for passive belts until appropriate require- 
ments for these systems can be developed and 
incorporated in the standard. 

Comments in support of the proposed change 
were i-eceived from Chrysler, British Leyland, 
American Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, General 
Motors, and the Association Peugeot-Renault. 
These commenters argued that manufacturers 
should not be restricted in passive belt design, so 
that manufacturers can detei-mine which designs 
are the most effective and at the same time ac- 
ceptable to the public. The Center for Auto 
Safety argued against the proposal, however, 
stating that elimination of the anchorage location 
requirements may degrade available occupant 
protection. 

The Center for Auto Safety agreed that manu- 
facturers should be allowed flexibility in passive 
belt design to facilitate the early introduction of 
passive restraints. However, it argued that 
elimination of the forward boundary for upper 
torso belt anchorages may "(1) seriously degrade 
occupant protection available by allowing the 
anchorages to be installed in areas likely to be 
struck by the occupant in a side impact and (2) 
may result in systems that do not sufficiently re- 
strain the occupant from submarining or moving 
laterally under the belt." The Center's first con- 
cern is that side-impact head injuries will in- 
crease if passive belt retractors, buckles, and 
other hardware are permitted in areas likely to 
be struck by the occupant's head in a side colli- 
sion. The comment noted that vehicles equipped 
with passive belts are not required to meet the 
lateral impact requirements of Standard No. 208 
and that manufacturers would, therefore, have 
no incentive to design anchorages and other hard- 
ware to avoid injuries in non-frontal collisions. 

The Center's second concern is that elimination 
of the anchorage location requirements will allow 
passive belt designs that lead to more lateral 
occupant movement and "submarining" in side 
crashes, thereby increasing side impact injuries. 
The Center also argued that it should be the 
responsibility of General Motors to demonstrate 
the safety consequences of moving passive belt 
anchorages outside the current range require- 



ments, before the agency eliminates the require- 
ments for passive belts. Finally, the Center is 
concerned that once the exemption is allowed, it 
might be years before new location requiiements 
for passive belts are specified. 

Regarding the Center's first concern, the pres- 
ent requirements do not prohibit the placement 
of hardware in areas where they could be struck 
by an occupant's head in a side collision. "While 
manufacturers may not be constrained by present 
standards from placing hardware where it poses 
a danger to occupants in side impacts, all manu- 
facturers are on notice that the agency is prepar- 
ing to propose a side impact standard as 
delineated in the agency's rulemaking plan. Thus, 
in anticipation of the upgraded side impact re- 
quirements, manufacturers should design their 
passive belt systems in such a way that they will 
not compromise side impact protection. 

The Center's concern about the potential for 
increased lateral movement and submarining in 
side crashes was not supported by any data. The 
NHTSA is also concerned about side impact in- 
juries. However, the existing location require- 
ments for belt anchorages were not specifically 
designed to address the problem of lateral occu- 
pant motion in non-frontal collisions where the 
occupant is restrained by a single, diagonal 
passive upper torso restraint used with a knee 
bolster. 

The notice of proposed rulemaking explicitly 
stated that the XHTSA intends to issue separate 
anchorage location requirements for passive belts 
following research to detennine the optimum 
locations for passive belt effectiveness, comfort 
and convenience, and that the proposed exemp- 
tion from the current requirements is only an 
interim measure. The NHTSA intends to con- 
duct studies to look at the change in injui-y data 
resulting from displacement of the upper anchor- 
age point of a single diagonal belt for various 
sizes of occupants. The research program in- 
cludes testing that will investigate the "sub- 
marining" problem and, during frontal oblique 
impact simulations, the likelihood of excessive 
lateral movement. The agency will consider 
simulated side impact testing during this research 
program to evaluate potential degradation of 
occupant protection in this crash mode. The 
agency will also consider anchorage location dui- 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 10 



ing the upgrading of side impact protection re- 
quirements. As stated in the recent "F'ive Year 
Rulemaking Plan," the improvement of occupant 
protection in side impacts is one of the NHTSA's 
highest priorities. 

The Center's suggestion that GM demonstrate 
the safety consequences of passive belt anchorages 
sliould be addressed by the NHTSA's intention 
to look with great care at manufacturers' com- 
pliance testing of all passive belt designs to assure 
that these new systems will, in fact, provide at 
least the level of overall protection now afforded 
by conventional restraint systems. 

Finally, regarding the Center's concern that 
new location requirements for passive belt an- 
chorages will not be specified for many years, the 
notice of proposed rulemaking and this notice 
make it clear that the exemption is only an in- 
terim measure to allow improvements in passive 
belt designs. It is consistent, however, with the 
attempt to make FMVSS 208 a performance 
standard to the greatest extent possible. Never- 
theless, should any manufacturer produce passive 
belt hardware or systems that cause or exacerbate 
injuries that would not occur with active systems 
currently in production, the NHTSA's safety 
defect authority woidd pennit the agency to in- 
vestigate such systems for possible recall and cor- 
rection. Manufacturers are hereby put on notice 
of that fact. 

In summarj', the NHTSA has concluded that 
manufacturers should be given wide latitude in 
passive belt design in order to aid the early intro- 
duction of passive restraints and to aid the de- 



velopment of optimum designs in terms of both 
effectiveness and comfort and convenience. The 
agency agrees that anchorage location require- 
ments are important for passive belts, but believes 
that more effective requirements can be developed 
following further research specifically involving 
passive belts. To ensure that safe and effective 
systems are being developed, the agency will be 
testing many of the new passive systems that will 
come on the market prior to the 1982 model year. 
In addition, the agency intends to ask manufac- 
turers to supply data concerning the perfonnance 
of passive systems in both compliance crash test- 
ing and in sled and crash testing in other modes. 

The NHTSA has determined that this amend- 
ment will have no economic or environmental 
consequences. 

The engineer and lawyer primarily responsible 
for the development of this notice are William 
Smith and Hugh Oates, respectively. 

In consideration of the foregoing. Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 210, Seat 
Belt Assembly Anchorages (49 CFR 571.210), is 
amended .... 

AUTHORITY: (Sec. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407) ; delegation 
of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.) 

Issued on November 3, 1978. 

Joan Clay brook 
Administrator 

43 F.R. 53440 
November 16, 1978 



PART 571; S 210— PRE 11-12 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 



Anchorages for Child Restraint Systems 
[Docket No. 80-18; Notice 4] 



ACTION: Final Rule. 

SUMMARY: To permit the securing of child safety 
seats, this notice amends Standard No. 210, Seat 
Belt Assembly Anchorages, to require all vehicles 
with automatic restraint systems at the right front 
passenger seating position to be equipped with 
anchorages for a lap belt at that position if the 
automatic restraint cannot be used to secure a 
child safety seat. Some automatic belts cannot be 
used to secure child safety seats since they include 
only a single, diagonal shoulder belt. The new re- 
quirement will enable parents to install a lap belt 
if they wish to secure a child safety seat in the 
front right outboard seating position. The amend- 
ment also requires vehicle manufacturers to in- 
clude information in their owner's manuals on 
child safety and the location of shoulder belt an- 
chorages in the rear seats. The owner's manual 
must also provide instructions explaining how a 
lap belt can be installed for use with child safety 
seats in the front right passenger seating position 
in vehicles with automatic restraints that cannot 
be used for securing child restraints. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The effective date for all of the 
amendments, except for the amendments adding 
86 and S7 to the standard, is September 1, 1987. 
The amendments adding S6 and S7 contain infor- 
mation collection requirements which must be 
approved by the Office of Management and Budget 
(0MB I. After 0MB approval, the agency will pub- 
lish a notice announcing the effective date of S6 
and S7 of the standard. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On Decem- 
ber 11, 1980 i 45 FR 81625 1, NHTSA issued a notice 
of proposed rulemaking to amend Standard No. 
210, Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, to require 
anchorages in certain vehicles for child safety seat 
tether straps. In addition, the notice proposed 
requiring vehicles equipped with automatic 



restraint systems at the right front designated seat- 
ting position, which cannot be used for the securing 
of child seifety seats, to have separate anchorages 
at that position for the installation of Type 1 lap 
belts. 

On July 5, 1985 (50 FR 27632) the agency pub- 
lished a notice terminating the portion of the pro- 
posed rule concerning anchorages for child safety 
seat tether straps. As explained in that notice the 
agency has decided that the appropriate way to 
reduce problems created by tether misuse is to 
propose an amendment (50 FR 27633) to Standard 
No. 213, Child Restraint Systems to require all 
child safety seats to pass a 30 mile per hour simu- 
lated crash test without a tether attached. This 
will ensure that all child safety seats provide an 
adequate level of safety even if they designed to 
be used with a tether strap. This notice announces 
the agency decision on the remaining portion of 
the proposed rule relating to front passenger seat 
safety belt anchorages. 

Lap Belt Anchorages for Front Seats 

A large percentage of the commenters supported 
the proposed requirement on the basis that some 
provision is necessary for securing child restraint 
systems used in front right seating positions, espe- 
cially in vehicles with single, diagonal automatic 
belt designs. Several commenters noted that, in 
particular, infant safety seats are often used in 
that seat so that the infant is within view and 
reach of an adult. However, several commenters 
stated that the proposal did not go far enough. 
Some commenters recommended that in addition 
to requiring holes for anchorages, the agency 
should require anchorage hardware to be installed 
by vehicle manufacturers so that lap belts could 
be readily installed by consumers. Other commen- 
ters recommended that lap belts be required for 
these positions in addition to the anchorages. 

A few commenters argued that the proposed an- 
chorages should not be required at all because the 



PART 571; S210-PRE 13 



rear seat is the safest location for the transporta- 
tion of children and the proposal would encourage 
parents to place their children in the less safe 
front seat. Several commenters also requested that 
the anchorage strength for the lap belt anchorages 
be set at 3,000 pounds rather than the proposed 
5,000 pounds, on the basis that the lap belts would 
only be used to restrain children, not adults. 

The agency agrees that the installation of lap 
belts in front seating positions not currently hav- 
ing them (vehicles equipped with single, diagonal 
automatic belts or with nondetachable automatic 
belts that cannot be used for attachment of child 
safety seats) would be the optimum situation inso 
far as securing child safety seats is concerned. 
Short of this, requiring complete attachment 
hardware would make the installation of lap belts 
somewhat easier than if manufacturers only pro- 
vide anchorage holes. However, both of these 
approaches involves costs that the agency believes 
are not justified because of the limited number of 
vehicle owners who would actually have need of 
this equipment. 

The cost of requiring the actual anchorage 
hardware in addition to providing threaded 
anchorage holes would be approximately $.30 for 
each vehicle, and the cost of requiring the lap belts 
to be installed would be approximately $14.00 per 
vehicle. If lap belts or anchorage hardware were 
required, many owners would be paying for equip- 
ment they do not need. The agency does not believe 
these costs are justified since the presence of the 
threaded hole will allow those vehicle owners who 
actually have need of lap belts to easily install 
them. The agency has therefore decided to require 
only threaded anchorage holes to be present. With 
the threaded holes present, the attachment hard- 
ware and lap belt can be installed in a short time. 

Type of Threaded Holes 

Several commenters objected to the proposed 
requirement that the anchorage holes be threaded 
to accept one specific type of bolt for attaching a 
lap belt. They said that Standard No. 209, Seat 
Belt Assemblies, permits the use of several types 
of bolts and argued that specifying the use of only 
one type of bolt would be restrictive. The agency 
agrees that manufacturers should have the same 
design flexibility as provided by Standard No. 209. 
Therefore, the final rule provides that manufactur- 
ers can thread the anchorage holes to accept any 
one of the bolts permitted by Standard No. 209. 



Anchorage Strength 

With regard to anchorage strength, the agency 
believes that the lap belt anchorages required by 
this amendment should comply with the 5,000 
pound requirement currently specified in Stan- 
dard No. 210 for Type 1 lap belts, rather than the 
3,000 pound requirement recommended by some 
commenters. It is true that certain "special" lap 
belts designed only for use by children might not 
need to meet a 5,000 pound strength requirement. 
However, since only anchorage holes are required, 
some persons may install typical lap belts which 
will be at times, likely used by adults. Adults 
might also use the "special" lap belt designed only 
for use by children, thinking that it is intended 
for use by anyone. For these reasons, the agency 
believes it is important for the anchorage strength 
to be sufficient to withstand the 5,000 pound force 
that could be generated by an adult in a crash. 
The agency is therefore adopting a 5,000 pound 
strength requirement. 

Information in the Owner's Manual 

The notice of proposed rulemaking proposed 
that the owner's manual in each vehicle provide 
specific information about protecting children in 
motor vehicles. It proposed that each owner's man- 
ual explain how to use a vehicle lap belt to secure 
a child safety seat, alert parents that children are 
safer in the rear seats, particularly in the center 
rear seat, and have a specific warning about the 
need to use infant and child safety seats. All 50 
States and the District of Columbia now require 
children to be fastened into child safety seats. The 
notice also propose that the owner's manual pro- 
vide information about the proper installation of 
a lap belt in the front right passenger seating pos- 
ition of a vehicle with an automatic restraint that 
cannot be used to secure a child safety seat. In 
addition, the notice proposed that the owner's 
manual identify the location of the shoulder belt 
anchorages that are currently required by the 
standard for outboard rear seating positions. 

Several commenters said that recommendations 
concerning the proper use of lap belts for attach- 
ment of child safety seats should be given by the 
child safety seat manufacturer rather than the 
vehicle manufacturer. They said that the child 
safety seat manufacturer is more knowledgeable 
about the proper use of its product. The agency 
agrees and notes that all child safety seat man- 
ufacturers currently provide such information. Ac- 



PART 571; S210-PRE 14 



cordingly. vehicle manufacturers will only be re- 
quired to have a section in the owner's manual 
referring to the importance of properly using the 
vehicle belts with child safety seats and will not 
have to provide specific information about the use 
of belts with each type of child safety seat. 

Other commenters expressed concern about the 
proposed requirement that vehicle manufacturers 
state that the center rear seat is the safest position 
to secure a child safety seat. The commenters 
noted that many vehicles currently do not have a 
center rear seat. Other commuters objected to in- 
cluding the information in owner's manuals of veh- 
icles that do not have a rear seat. The agency 
agrees with these objections and has therefore 
modified the requirement so that vehicles with no 
rear seats do not have to include the statement 
and in vehicles with no center rear seat, a man- 
ufacturer only has to state that the rear seat is 
the safest position. Several commenters argued 
that the agency should not require manufacturers 
to provide information in the owner's manual since 
the agency's noncompliance notification and re- 
medy regulations would then apply. They recom- 
mended that the manufacturers voluntarily pro- 
vide the information. 

The agency recognizes that the proposed warn- 
ing requirement, which would have required man- 
ufacturers to use specific wording on child safety 
in the owner's manual, could lead to situations 
where manufacturers would have to file petitions 
for inconsequentiality for minor variations in the 
wording. At the same time, the agency believes it 
is important that vehicle owners receive general 
information on child safety and specific informa- 
tion on installing lap belts at the right front seat. 
Thus manufacturers will still have to provide in- 
formation about protecting children. However, the 
agency has decided against requiring a warning 
with prescribed wording about child safety in all 
owner's manuals, so as to give manufacturers the 
maximum flexibility to incorporate that informa- 
tion effectively. 

Finally, the agency is adopting, as proposed, the 
requirement that the owner's manual provide in- 
formation about the location of the shoulder belt 
anchorages for the rear seat. Several commenters 
said that few people are aware that the anchorages 
are currently present and therefore do not know 
that shoulder belts can be installed in rear seats. 
No commenter objected to this proposal. 



Effective Date 

The safety belt anchorage requirements in- 
cluded in this amendment become effective Sep- 
tember 1, 1987. In response to the notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking, various vehicle manufacturers 
indicated leadtime needs of one year, 18 months, 
two years and three years. Those estimates, how- 
ever, reflected the time necessary for designing, 
tooling and installing tether anchorages rather 
than for the simpler task of providing additional 
lap belt anchorages. Standard No. 210 currently 
requires anchorages for a Type 2 lap-shoulder 
safety belt (an inboard and an outboard floor an- 
chorage for the lap portion of belt and an outboard 
anchorage for the upper torso belt) at each front 
outboard seating position, even if the vehicle is 
equipped with a single, diagonal automatic belt. 
However, the inboard anchorage of some diagonal 
belts is not suitable for attachment of a lap belt 
since the anchorage is designed only to accommo- 
date an automatic belt. The amendment adopted 
today would require, for some vehicles, the addi- 
tion of one more anchorage (an additional inboard 
anchorage) than currently required. For any veh- 
icles which have a three point nondetachable au- 
tomatic belt that cannot be used, two additional 
anchorages may be required. After a careful con- 
sideration of all comments and an evaluation of 
the necessary design changes and tooling require- 
ments, the agency has concluded that a leadtime 
of one year should be sufficient. However, if the 
rule were to go into effect in mid-model year, the 
tooling and other costs associated with the rule 
will substantially increase. Therefore, the agency 
has decided that there is good cause for making 
the rule effective on September 1, 1987. A leadtime 
of longer than a year is in the public interest since 
it will serve to reduce the cost of the rule to man- 
ufacturers and consumers. 

Issued on October 4, 1985. 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

50 FR 41356 
October 10, 1985 



PART 571; S210-PRE 15-16 



t 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 

SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 

Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages 
(Docket No. 80-18; Notice 5) 



ACTION: Final Rule; Response to petitions for 
reconsideration. 

SUMMARY: This notice responds to two petitions 
for reconsideration of the amendments to Standeird 
No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, publish- 
ed on October 10, 1985. Those amendments re- 
quired manufacturers to provide anchorages for a 
lap safety belt in automatic-restraint equipped 
vehicles in which the automatic restraint system 
cannot be used to restrain a child safety seat. In 
addition, the amendments required manufacturers 
to provide certain safety information in their vehi- 
cle owner's manual describing how to install the 
lap belt. Also, the owner's manual was to state that 
children are safer when properly restrained in the 
rear seating positions than in front seating posi- 
tions and that, in a vehicle with a rear seating posi- 
tion, the center rear seating position is the safest. 
Two manufacturers, American Motors Corporation 
(AMC) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), 
filed timely petitions seeking reconsideration of 
those amendments. In response to AMC's petition, 
the agency has amended the lap belt anchorage re- 
quirement to make it clear that if a manufacturer 
voluntarily provides a manual lap or lap/shoulder 
belt at the front right passenger's seat, it does not 
have to provide an additional set of Emchorages. 
AMC's remaining requests to permit the use of self- 
tapping safety belt anchorage bolts and to extend 
the September 1, 1987, effective date are denied. 
Toyota's request to delete the requirement that 
manufacturers state that the center rear seat is the 
safest seating position is granted. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The amendments made by this 
notice are effective on August 19, 1986. Manufac- 
turers do not have to comply with the requirements 
of S4.1.3, S6, and S7 until September 1, 1987. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On October 

10, 1985 (43 FR 53364), NHTSA publi.shed a final 

d rule amending Standard No. 210, Seat Belt 

5 Assembly Anchorages. The amendments require 



manufacturers to provide anchorages for a lap belt 
at the front right seat in vehicles manufactured 
after September 1, 1987, if the vehicle is equipped 
with an automatic restraint system that cannot be 
used to restrain a child safety seat. In addition, the 
amendments require manufacturers to provide 
safety information in their vehicle owner's 
manuals on the proper installation of lap belts in 
vehicles equipped with the supplemental lap belt 
anchorages. Also, the owner's manual was to state 
that children are safer when properly restrained 
in the rear seating positions than in front seating 
positions and that, in a vehicle with a rear seating 
position, the center rear seating position is the 
safest. Two vehicle manufacturers, AMC and 
Toyota, filed timely petitions seeking reconsidera- 
tion of those amendments. In the following discus- 
sion, NHTSA addresses the issues raised by the 
petitioners. 

Anchorage Requirements 

AMC said that the language of the lap belt an- 
chorage requirement of S4.1.3 of the standard could 
be "construed to mean that the supplemental an- 
chorages might be required, even if a lap belt is pre- 
sent." The NHTSA explained in the preamble to 
the October 1985 final rule that the purpose of the 
anchorage requirement is to enable vehicle owners 
to quickly and easily install a lap belt to secure a 
child safety seat in the fi'ont right passenger's seat. 
The agency agrees with AMC that clearly if a 
manufacturer has already provided a lap belt at 
that position, there is no need for the supplemen- 
tal anchorages. NHTSA has amended the language 
of the standard to clarify the requirement by pro- 
viding that a manufacturer can, at its option, pro- 
vide either the supplemental anchorages or a 
manual lap or lap/shoulder belt. 

Modification of Automatic Belt Systems 

AMC also asked the agency to allow manufac- 
turers to provide methods, other than lap belt an- 
chorages, to enable vehicle owners to seciu-e child 



PART 571; S210-PRE 17 



safety seats. AMC said that one "possible approach 
would be the adaptation of the automatic restraint 
system to secure a child restraint. For example, for 
a two-point automatic belt with a door-mounted 
emergency release, the manufacturer could include 
instructions to the owner on the installation of a 
buckle on the lower outboard anchorage. The 
automatic belt could then be released from the 
door, and buckled at the floor to form a lap belt." 
AMC said that it was "not necessarily recommend- 
ing the use of these systems, because the questions 
of cost, adult misxise, etc., all must be addressed." 

As NHTSA explained in the preamble to the 
October 1985 final rule, the purpose of the amend- 
ment is to address the problems associated with 
securing a child safety seat in some types of 
automatic restraint systems. For example, some 
automatic safet>' belts cannot be used to seciu-e 
child safet\- seats either because they have only a 
single diagonal shoulder belt or because they are 
nondetachable and thus cannot be threaded 
through the structure of the child safety seat to 
hold the safety seat in place. By requiring manufac- 
turers to provide threaded anchorage holes in those 
vehicles, the agency believed that vehicle owners 
who wanted to install a lap belt at the front right 
seat could easily and quickly do so by taking the 
simple step of threading a bolt into the anchorage. 

NHTSA agrees with AMC that it would not be 
necessarj^ to require the additional lap belt an- 
chorages, if the vehicle owner can adjxist the 
automatic belt system so that it can effectively 
restrain a child safety seat. NHTSA believes that 
the ease and simphcity of the adjiistment is crucial. 
The agency does not want vehicle owners to have 
to follow complicated instructions or have to obtain 
special tools or have to purchase and install special 
attachment (other than the belt itself) hardware 
before they can use the automatic belt system to 
restrain a child safety seat. The more difficiilt and 
complicated the procedure is, the greater the 
possibility that a vehicle owner may improperly ad- 
just the automatic belt system. In contrast, if a 
vehicle manufacturer has installed the additional 
hardware necessary to allow the use of the auto- 
matic belt to restrain a child safety seat and all a 
vehicle owner has to do is simply operate the 
emergency release for the automatic belt and then 
reconnect it to the attachment hardware provided 
by the manufacturer, NHTSA believes that vehi- 
cle owTiers can quickly, easily, and safely use the 
automatic belt to restrain a child safety seat. Thus, 
the agency is amending the language of S4.1.3 to 



provide that a manufacturer does not have to in- 
stall threaded anchorage holes if it has installed 
all the necessary- hardware needed to adjust the 
automatic safety belt to secure a child safety seat. 
With this amendment, manufacturers now have 
three options for secxiring child safety seats in 
automatic restraint equipped vehicles. First, they 
can provide an automatic restraint that can be 
used, with no modifications, to secure a child safety 
seat. Alternatively, they can provide an automatic 
restraint that can be modified or adjusted by the 
vehicle owner to secure a child safety seat, as long 
as the manufacturer has installed all the hardware 
necessary to secure the child safety seat. Finally, 
a vehicle manufacturer has the alternative of, at 
its option, installing a manual lap or lap/shoulder 
belt with its automatic restraint system or pro- 
viding threaded holes so that the vehicle owner can 
install a manual lap belt. The agency believes that 
these three alternatives give a substantial amount 
of flexibility to vehicle manufacturers to determine 
which approach they want to use and assures that 
vehicle owners can quickly, easily, and safely use 
child safety seats in the ft"ont right seats of 
automatic restraint equipped vehicles. 

Threaded Holes 

The final rule required manufacturers to provide 
threaded holes that would accept a bolt complying 
with Standard No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies. AMC 
explained that it does not use a threaded nut in its 
safety belt assembly, but instead uses a self- 
tapping bolt. It said use of the self-tapping bolt 
eliminates the possibility of cross-threading or 
misalignment caused by paint on the thread of the 
nut. AMC asked that the requirement be changed 
from providing threaded holes to providing holes 
that will accept any type of safety belt hardware. 

NHTSA specified the installation of a threaded 
hole so that a vehicle owner could quickly, easily, 
and safely install a lap belt without using special 
tools or purchasing special attachment hardware. 
The agency expected that with the threaded holes, 
a vehicle owner could, if need be, find the ap- 
propriate bolt at a hardware store and install the 
bolt with a simple wrench or pliers. The agency is 
concerned that a self-tapping bolt of sufficient size 
and strength to withstand the forces imposed by 
a safety belt is not commonly available. In addi- 
tion, it may be more difficult for a vehicle owner 
to properly align a self-tapping bolt and exert suf- 
ficient force to drive the bolt through the steel floor 



PART 571; S210-PRE 18 



without a special tool. Therefore, NHTSA has 
decided to deny AMC's request, and instead retain 
the requirement that manufacturers provide 
threaded holes. 

Leadtime 

Saying that its petition sought several changes 
which will impact the design of its vehicles, AMC 
requested the agency to provide additional lead- 
time to implement any changes adopted by the 
agency. The agency does not believe that any ad- 
ditional leadtime is necessary. As adopted, the rule 
provided nearly two years of leadtime. AMC has 
provnded no new information to show that it can- 
not meet the requirements of the rule within that 
period of time. Therefore, NHTSA has decided to 
deny AMC's request for additional leadtime. 



Owner's Manual Information 

The October 1985 final rule requires manufac- 
turers to provide certain information in their 
owner's manuals about securing child safety seats 
in their vehicles. Among the requirements is one 
that, in vehicles with a center rear seat, manufac- 
turers must state in the owmer's manual that the 
center rear seat is the safest. Toyota asked the 
agency to reconsider that requirement. 

Toyota agrees that children are safest when prop- 
erly restrained in the rear seat, but it said it does 
not have data to show the center rear seat is always 
the safest. In addition, Toyota said that in a vehi- 
cle with front bucket seats, "depending how a child 
is restrained in the center rear seating position, he 
or she could hit against the console box and or the 
transmission shift lever, which are more solid than 
the front seatbacks." Finally, Toyota said that the 
required statement might mislead persons into 
thinking that the center rear seat is the safest, 
regardless of how an occupant is restrained. 

NHTSA decided to require a statement about the 
safety of the center seat in the owner's manual 
based on crash tests and accident data which show 
that the center rear seat is safer, particularly in 
side impacts, than other seats. For example, side 
impact crash tests conducted for the agency have 
shown that, as would be expected, test dummies 
closer to the struck side of the vehicle experience 
larger acceleration than dummies seated away 
from that side. In addition to experiencing larger 
accelerations, the test dummies located closer to 
the side door contacted the interior of the vehicle 
as it crushed inward during the impact. (See, for 



example, "Countermeasures for Side Impact," 
DOT Contract HS 9-02177.) 

Likewise, accident data have generally shown 
that the center rear seat is the safest. For exam- 
ple, data on injuries to unrestrained occupants 
show that occupants of center seating positions 
have fewer serious injuries and fatalities than 
unrestrained occupants in outboard rear seats. 
(See, "Usage and Effectiveness of Seat and 
Shoulder Belts in Rural Pennsylvania," DOT 
Publication HS 801-398). Data on restrained oc- 
cupants in the rear seats are more limited. The 
Canadian Ministry of Transport analyzed data on 
the fatality and injury rates in Ontario and Alber- 
ta for the years 1978-1980. The Alberta data show, 
for example, that restrained children (birth-14 
years old) riding in the center rear seat had the 
lowest rate of major and fatal injuries. Likewise, 
the Ontario data showed that restrained children 
(birth-14 years old) riding in the center rear seat 
had the lowest rate of major and fatal injuries. 
Likewise, the Ontario data showed that restrained 
children rbirth-14 years old) riding in the center 
rear seat had the lowest fatality rate. NHTSA 
acknowledges that because of the small amount of 
information available on injuries and fatalities to 
restrained children in the rear seat, the results 
should not be regarded as conclusive. 

NHTSA does not have sufficiently detailed files 
on real-world crashes to be able to address Toyota's 
statement that for vehicles with bucket seats it is 
possible that, depending on how a child is re- 
strained, he or she could strike the console box or 
other vehicle features that are harder than the 
seatback. The agency also has not done any crash 
testing of bucket seat vehicles with child test dum- 
mies restrained in the rear seat. The agency 
agrees, however, that depending on how a child is 
restrained and the severity of the crash, it is possi- 
ble for a restrained child in the center rear seat of 
a bucket seat vehicle to strike a portion of the vehi- 
cle's interior in front of the child. Therefore, the 
agency has decided to grant Toyota's petition and 
has deleted the requirement in S6(b) that manufac- 
turers state that the center rear seat is the safest 
seating position. NHTSA anticipates that if a 
manufacturer has a particular concern about a 
design featvu-e in its bucket seat equipped vehicles 
that could be struck by a properly restrained child, 
the manufacturer would take steps to minimize the 
risk posed by the design feature. 

Na%istar International Corporation (Navistar) 
has recently wTitten the agencj' concerning the ap- 
plicability of the owner's manual requirements to 



PART 571: S210-PRE 19 



vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) 
of more than 10,000 pounds. Navistar said that 
such heavy vehicles are generally property- 
carrying and service vehicles used for commercial 
purposes and would seldom, if ever, be carrying 
children. Navistar also noted that the drivers of 
those heavy vehicles may never see the owner's 
manual, since they may not be the owners of the 
vehicles. 

The agency believes that Navistar has raised 
several good reasons why the owner's manual re- 
quirements should be limited to vehicles with a 
GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, the class of vehi- 
cle which would normally be transporting children 
in child safety seats. Thus, the agency is amending 
the standard to limit the owner's manual re- 
quirements to vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 
pounds or less. 

The agency is also making another minor clari- 
fying change to the owner's manual information 
requirements. 

S6(c) of the standard requires vehicle manufac- 
turers to provide information about the location of 
the anchorages for shoulder belts in the rear out- 
board seats in their vehicles under the following 
conditions. Manufacturers are required to provide 
the owner's manual information if Standard No. 
210 requires them to install shoulder belt an- 
chorages at those positions and they have not in- 
stalled lap/shoulder belts at those positions as 
items of original equipment. Since S4.1.1 of Stan- 
dard No. 210 only requires the installation of 
shoulder belt anchorages in the rear outboard seats 
of passenger cars, the agency is amending S6(c) to 
make clear that this portion of the owner's manual 
requirements only apply to passenger cars. 

For the reasons set out in the preamble, section 
571.210 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regula- 
tions is amended as follows: 

1. The authority citation for Part 571 would con- 
tinue to read as follows: 

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1403, 1407; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 

2. S4.1.3 is amended by revising the first 
sentence to read as follows: 

S4.1.3 Notwithstanding the requirement of 
paragraph 84.1.1, each vehicle manufactured on 
or after September 1, 1987, that is equipped with 
an automatic restraint at the front right outboard 
designated seating position that cannot be used for 
securing a child restraint system or cannot be ad- 
justed by the vehicle owner to secure a child 
restraint system solely through the use of attach- 
ment hardware installed as an item of original 



equipment by the vehicle manufacturer shall have, 
at the manufacturer's option, either anchorages for 
a Type 1 seat belt assembly at that position or a 
Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly at that 
position. 

3. The first sentence of S6 is revised to read as 
follows: 

56 Owner's Manual Information. The owner's 
manual in each vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 
pounds or less manufactured after September 1, 
1987, shall include: 

4. S6(b) is revised to read as follows: 

(b) In a vehicle with rear designated seating posi- 
tions, a statement alerting vehicle owners that, ac- 
cording to accident statistics, children are safer 
when properly restrained in the rear seating posi- 
tions than in the front seating positions. 

5. S6(c) is revised to read as follows: 

(c) In each passenger car, a diagram or diagrams 
showing the location of the shoulder belt an- 
chorages required by this standard for the rear out- 
board designated seating positions, if shoulder 
belts are not installed as items of original equip- 
ment by the vehicle manufacturer at those 
positions. 

6. S7 is revised to read as follows: 

57 Installation Instructions. The owner's manual 
in each vehicle manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1987, with an automatic restraint at 
the front right outboard designated seating posi- 
tion that cannot be used to secure a child restraint 
system when the automatic restraint is adjusted 
to meet the performance requirements of S5.1 of 
Standard No. 208 shall have: 

(a) A statement that the automatic restraint at 
the front right outboard designated seating posi- 
tion cannot be used to secure a child restraint and, 
as appropriate, one of the following three 
statements: 

(i) A statement that the automatic restraint at 
the front right outboard designated seating posi- 
tion can be adjusted to secure a child restraint 
system using attachment hardware installed as 
original equipment by the vehicle manufacturer; 

(ii) A statement that anchorages for installation 
of a lap belt to secure a child restraint system have 
been provided at the front right outboard 
designated seating position; or 

(iii) A statement that a lap or manual lap or 
lap/shoulder belt has been installed by the vehicle 
manufacturer at the front right outboard 
designated seating position to secure a child 
restraint. 



PART 571; S210-PRE 20 



(b) In each vehicle in which a lap or lap/shoulder 
belt is not installed at the front right outboard 
designated seating position as an item of original 
equipment, but the automatic restraint at that 
position can be adjusted by the vehicle owner to 
secure a child restraint system using an item or 
items of original equipment installed in the vehi- 
cle by the vehicle manufacturer, the owner's 
manual shall also have: 

(i) A diagram or diagrams showing the location 
of the attachment hardware provided by the vehi- 
cle manufacturer. 

(ii) A step-by-step procedure with a diagram or 
diagrams showing how to modify the automatic 
restraint system to secure a child restraint system. 
The instructions shall explain the proper routing 
of the attachment hardware. 

(c) In each vehicle in which the automatic 
restraint at the front right outboard designated 
seating position cannot be modified to secure a 
child restraint system using attachment hardware 
installed as an original equipment by the vehicle 
manufacturer and a manual lap or lap/shoulder 
belt is not installed as an item of original equip- 
ment by the vehicle manufacturer, the owner's 
manual shall also have: 



(i) A diagram or diagrams showing the locations 
of the lap belt anchorages for the front right out- 
board designated seating position. 

(ii) A step-by-step procedure and a diagram or 
diagrams for installing the proper lap belt an- 
chorage hardware and a Type 1 lap belt at the front 
right outboard designated seating position. The in- 
structions shall explain the proper routing of the 
seat belt assembly and the attachment of the seat 
belt assembly to the lap belt anchorages. 



Issued on August 12, 1986 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

51 F.R. 29552 
August 19, 1986 



PART 571; S210-PRE 21-22 



r 



I 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR 
VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 

Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages- 
Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Vehicles, Trucks and Buses 
(Docket No. 87-08; Notice 3) 
BIN 2127-AB 9 



ACTION: Final rule. 



SUMMARY: This rule establishes a new requirement 
for lap/shoulder safety belts to be installed at all 
forward-facing rear outboard seating positions in 
passenger cars. Rear-seat lap/shoulder belts are es- 
timated to be even more effective than rear-seat 
lap-only belts in reducing fatalities and moderate- 
to-severe injuries. As safety belt use in the rear seat 
increases, the greater effectiveness of rear-seat lap/ 
shoulder belts should yield progressively larger ben- 
efits in terms of reduced fatalities and moderate- 
to-severe injuries. NHTSA anticipates that this rule 
requiring rear-seat lap/shoulder belts will help in- 
crease safety belt use in the rear seats, by providing 
rear-seat occupants with maximum safety protection 
when they buckle up. 

DATES: This final rule takes effect on December 11, 
1989. All passenger cars, other than convertibles, 
manufactured on or after that date must be equipped 
with rear-seat lap/shoulder belts that comply with 
this rule. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Standard No. 

208, Occupant Crash Protection (49 CFR § 571.208) 
currently requires vehicle manufacturers to install a 
seat belt assembly that conforms to Standard No. 

209, Seat Belt Assemblies, at every rear designated 
seating position in passenger cars, trucks, and mul- 
tipurpose passenger vehicles. Manufacturers are 
permitted to choose between installing a Type 1 
(lap-only) or Type 2 (lap/shoulder) safety belt system. 
Until recently, most manufacturers chose to comply 
with this requirement by installing lap-only safety 
belts at rear designated seating positions. 

When the agency gave manufacturers the option 
of installing either a lap-only or lap/shoulder belt at 
each rear designated seating position, the available 
evidence showed that both types of belt systems were 
effective in reducing the risk of death and serious 
1 injvuy in a crash. A number of studies since that 
time have evaluated thousands of cases and repeat- 
edly concluded that lap-only belts are, in fact, sub- 



stantially effective in preventing deaths and reduc- 
ing injuries. While there are individual cases where 
lap-only belts may have failed to prevent injury, 
NHTSA knows of no comprehensive study by any 
person or organization that concludes that rear-seat 
lap belts are anything less than effective in reducing 
overall crash risks for those occupants. The agency 
again strongly encourages rear-seat occupants to use 
whatever type of safety belt is available, whether 
lap-only or lap/shoulder, just as front-seat occupants 
should always buckle up. 

Even so, NHTSA believes that lap/shoulder belts 
would be even more effective than lap-only belts in 
rear seating positions. In past years, however, rear- 
seat occupants infrequently used their safety belts, 
which were almost always the lap-only type, with 
usage rates far lower than for front-seat occupants. 
For example, approximately 2 percent of rear seat 
occupants wore their safety belts in 1981-82. With 
that very low rate of belt use, the safety benefits (in 
terms of reduced deaths and injuries) of lap/shoulder 
belts vs. lap-only belts at those rear seating posi- 
tions would have been negligible, but would have 
imposed substantially greater costs. In 1984, 
NHTSA estimated the cost differential to be an 
additional $20 per rear seating position equipped 
with lap/shoulder belts. After considering these 
facts, and the far greater need for improved front 
seat occupant protection, the agency decided that it 
could not then justify a requirement for lap/shoulder 
belts at rear seating positions. 

In August 1986, a petition was filed with the agency 
by the Los Angeles Area Child Passenger Safety As- 
sociation. This petition asked NHTSA to require the 
installation of lap/shoulder belts in rear seating posi- 
tions. The agency decided to grant this petition and 
reexamine the issue. Accordingly, on June 16, 1987, 
NHTSA published an advance notice of proposed rule- 
making (ANPRM), requesting comments on the need 
for rulemaking to require lap/shoulder belts in rear 
seating positions (52 FR 22818). Thirty-four comment- 
ers responded to the ANPRM. 



PART 571; S210-PRE 23 



After considering these comments, NHTSA con- 
cluded that several factors had changed since the 
previous considerations of this subject. Among the 
changed factors were the following: 

1. Safety Belt Use in Rear Seating Positions Had 
Increased Substantially. Safety belt use in rear seats 
had increased eightfold from the 2 percent use rate 
in 1981-82 to 16 percent use in 1987. The primary 
factors responsible for the dramatic increase in 
safety belt use were State safety belt use laws. As of 
April 1989, these laws were in place in 32 States and 
the District of Columbia. As the number of States 
with safety belt use laws continues to grow, along 
with expanded belt-use campaigns and greater pub- 
lic awareness of the benefits of wearing safety belts, 
there is every reason to believe that the rate of belt 
use by rear-seat occupants will continue to increase 
as well. 

2. The Greater Effectiveness of Rear Seat Lap/ 
Shoulder Belts Had Become a Significant Factor With 
the Increase in the Use of Rear Seat Belts. NHTSA 
estimates that rear-seat lap-only belts are 32 percent 
effective in reducing the risk of death, while rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts would be 41 percent effective in 
reducing the risk of death. As more rear-seat occu- 
pants use their safety belts, the 9 percentage point 
greater effectiveness for lap/shoulder belts will result 
in progressively greater safety benefits. 

3. As Manufacturers Voluntarily Chose to Equip 
Their Vehicles With Rear Seat Lap/Shoulder Belts, 
the Costs Associated With a Requirement for Rear- 
Seat Lap/Shoulder Belts Were Proportionally Dimin- 
ished. When the agency examined this issue on 
previous occasions, the vast majority of vehicles were 
equipped with lap-only safety belts at rear seating 
positions. The costs of adding lap/shoulder safety belts 
to the rear seating positions of nearly every new 
vehicle were substantial. In preparing the ANPRM on 
this subject, NHTSA assumed that rear outboard seat 
lap/shoulder belts would not otherwise be installed in 
passenger cars unless required by regulation, and 
estimated the total costs for equipping the new-car 
fleet to be approximately $140 million annually. 

However, vehicle manufacturers have voluntarily 
chosen to equip more and more of their vehicles with 
rear-seat lap/shoulder belts. For example, nearly 
every 1990 model year passenger car would have 
been voluntarily equipped with rear outboard seat 
lap/shoulder belts. The incremental costs associated 
with a NHTSA requirement would reflect only the 
costs of installing rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in the 
small portion of the fleet that would not have those 
belts voluntarily installed, or approximately 
$790,000, a substantial decrease from the agency's 
previous estimates of such costs. 

After analyzing the effects of these changed fac- 
tors and the comments received on the ANPRM, 



NHTSA tentatively determined that a requirement 
for lap/shoulder belts in rear seating positions would 
now be justified. Accordingly, NHTSA published a j^-___ 
notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on November™ 
29, 1988 (53 FR 47982). This NPRM was a compre-^ 
hensive proposal. It proposed to require that all 
passenger cars, other than convertibles, manufac- 
tured on or after September 1, 1989, be equipped 
with lap/shoulder safety belts at all forward-facing 
rear outboard seating positions. It proposed further 
that convertible passenger cars and trucks, multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles, and buses with a gross 
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less man- 
ufactured on or after September 1, 1991, be equipped 
with lap/shoulder safety belts at all forward-facing 
rear outboard seating positions. The NPRM also 
proposed that rear-seat lap/shoulder belts be 
equipped with a particular type of retractor, that 
such belts be integral (i.e., the lap belt could not be 
detachable from the shoulder belt), that rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts comply with some of the comfort 
and convenience requirements specified in section 
S7.4 of Standard No. 208, and that the anchorages 
for the rear-seat lap/shoulder belt assemblies comply 
with the requirements of Standard No. 210, Seat Belt 
Assembly Anchorages (49 CFR § 571.210). 

The comment period for the NPRM closed on 
January 30, 1989. More than 70 comments were 
received on the NPRM. The commenters generally A 
agreed with the proposal to require lap/shoulder ^ 
belts at forward-facing rear outboard seating posi- 
tions, at least in passenger cars other than convert- 
ibles. However, the commenters raised a number of 
concerns with and objections to specific details of the 
NPRM, including the vehicle types other than pas- 
senger cars that should be required to be equipped 
with rear-seat lap/shoulder belts, the retractors with 
which those lap/shoulder belts should be equipped, 
compatibility with child restraint systems, the defi- 
nition of an "outboard seat," the details of the 
comfort and convenience requirements, and the re- 
quirements for tension-relieving devices on these 
belts. 

NHTSA will need some additional time to properly 
analyze and evaluate each of these comments on the 
detailed aspects of the proposal, and to formulate the 
agency response and appropriate regulatory require- 
ments for each of these aspects. If the agency were to 
take no final nilemaking action while it is preparing 
its position on each of these issues, the effect would be 
to delay the issuance and effective date of the basic 
requirement to install rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in 
all vehicles including passenger cars. Yet it is this 
basic requirement that will offer the public most of the - 
safety benefits that were contemplated by the agency K 
when it published the NPRM. While NHTSA believes ^ 
that additional incremental safety benefits will result 



PART 571; S210-PRE 24 



t 



from requirements adopting detailed installation re- 
quirements, such as those proposed in the NPRM, it 
would appear unwise and inappropriate for the agency 
to deny the public the benefits of a basic requirement 
for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts until the agency can 
complete its work on those installation requirements. 

lb ensure the eeu-liest possible implementation of 
a requirement for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts, 
NHTSA has decided to take final action on its 
proposal in two steps. The first step consists of this 
rule, which addresses only passenger cars other than 
convertibles with a general requirement for lap/ 
shoulder belts at rear outboard seating positions. 
The second step will consist of NHTSA's decision 
regarding each of the detailed proposals for rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts set forth in the NPRM. NHTSA 
will also treat the second step of this rulemaking as 
a high priority action, to ensure that the incremen- 
tal benefits are available in a timely fashion. 

With the exception of Ford Motor Company (Ford) 
and Subaru, the commenters were essentially unan- 
imous in their support for the agency's proposal to 
require rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in all 1990 and 
subsequent model year passenger cars other than 
convertibles. 

Ford commented that it had planned to voluntar- 
ily provide rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in most of its 
cars by September 1, 1989, regardless of any regula- 
tory requirements. However, Ford stated that it had 
not planned to provide rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in 
one of its car lines by that date, because production 
of the current design of that line will be phased out 
during the 1990 model year. Accordingly, Ford com- 
mented that "a 1989 effective date might well com- 
pel Ford to stop production of that line," but that 
Ford could meet the proposed passenger car require- 
ments for all its cars manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1990. NHTSA contacted Ford to obtain 
more detailed information about these assertions. 

Ford explained that its asserted problem arose from 
the proposed requirement that rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belts be integral. However, Ford did plan to offer 
retrofit shoulder belt kits for the rear seats of the 
single line which it was not planning to equip with 
rear-seat lap/shoulder belts for the 1990 model year. 
These retrofit kits would consist of separate manually 
adjustable shoulder belt and buckle assemblies to 
supplement the lap-only belts already installed in the 
vehicle. The installation of these retrofit kits involves 
no change to the existing lap belts. Instead, the upper 
ends of the shoulder belts are attached to the upper 
emchorages required by Standard No. 210 to be in the 
car at all forward-facing rear outboard seating posi- 
tions. The lower ends of the shoulder belts are attached 
to the inboard anchorages for the existing lap belts, by 
loosening the bolt anchoring the lap belt, inserting the 
attachment hardware for both the lap belt and the 



shoulder belt on that bolt, and then retightening and 
properly torquing the bolt. After the retrofit, the 
installed safety belt system consists of a lap belt with 
its own buckle and retractor, and a shoulder belt with 
its own buckle and manual adjusting device. Such a 
design would not comply with the proposed require- 
ment that the lap/shoulder belts be integral. 

Ford asserted that it could not comply with a 
requirement for integral lap and shoulder belts for 
the rear outboard seating positions of this single 
line. According to Ford, it would not be acceptable 
simply to use an integral lap/shoulder belt assembly 
and attach the upper end of the shoulder belt assem- 
bly to the anchorages installed in the car in compli- 
ance with Standard No. 210. While such a system 
would comply with the applicable and proposed 
NHTSA regulatory requirements, Ford indicated 
that such a safety belt system would not necessarily 
be optimized for kinematic performance, belt com- 
fort, restraint system integrity, and the like. Be- 
cause of these concerns. Ford indicated that it was 
moving the anchorages for rear outboard seats in 
most of its car lines to optimally accommodate 
factory-installed integral lap/shoulder belts. 

Ford also indicated that it was simply not possible 
for it to complete the necessary testing and design 
modifications and incorporate those changes into 
production for the current design of the line in 
question within the period proposed in the NPRM 
(i.e., by September 1, 1989). Ford asserted that it 
would need at least 42 weeks of leadtime to begin 
production of cars in this line with integral lap/ 
shoulder belts in the rear. Additionally, Ford stated 
that the successor vehicle for this line would have 
integral lap/shoulder belts at the rear outboard 
seating positions. Thus, instead of making the in- 
vestment in design, testing, and production changes 
for a car line that will not be produced after April 
1990, Ford indicated that it might stop production of 
that line eight months earlier than is now planned. 

When NHTSA issued the NPRM, the agency be- 
lieved that Ford would voluntarily install rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts on all of its 1990 car lines. Since 
that is not the case, and since Ford faces special 
difficulties in bringing one of its car lines into 
compliance, the agency must revise its tentative 
conclusion that a September 1, 1989, effective date 
was practicable for a requirement for integral rear- 
seat lap/shoulder belts. This final rule reflects a 
balancing of the need to ensure that any new re- 
quirements in the safety standards are "practicable" 
(as required by the Safety Act) with the public safety 
benefits from the earliest practicable effective date 
for these requirements. The agency is therefore 
adopting a schedule of effective dates that addresses 
both these needs, as described below. 



PART 571; S210-PRE 25 



Subaru's objection to the proposed requirement 
was based on the fact that one of its models (the 
Loyale station wagon) is already voluntarily 
equipped with rear-seat lap/shoulder belts, but the 
anchorage for the upper end of the shoulder belt is 
outside the anchorage location zones specified in 
Standard No. 210. Some background information on 
this situation may be helpful. 

Subaru previously sought an interpretation from 
NHTSA as to whether the company would be permit- 
ted to use an anchorage location outside of the zones 
specified in Standard No. 210 for the upper anchor- 
age of voluntarily installed rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belts. In an October 13, 1988, interpretation letter to 
Mr. Paul Utans of Subaru, NHTSA responded that 
components voluntarily installed in addition to re- 
quired safety systems are not themselves required to 
comply with the safety standards, provided that the 
additional components do not diminish the ability of 
the required systems to comply with the safety 
standards. In this case, the shoulder belts were 
voluntarily installed by Subaru, so the shoulder-belt 
portions of the lap/shoulder belt systems were not 
required to comply with the anchorage location 
requirements in Standard No. 210 or any other of the 
requirements in the safety standards. Instead, the 
only limitation on the voluntarily installed shoulder 
belts was that they could not diminish the ability of 
the required lap belts to comply with the safety 
standards. This letter concluded by noting that this 
interpretation would no longer apply if NHTSA 
adopted a final rule requiring rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belts in passenger cars, because the interpretation 
was based upon the voluntary nature of the shoulder 
belt installation. 

Because of this interpretation, Subaru correctly 
assumed in its comments that the upper anchorages 
for the rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in its Loyale 
station wagons would have to comply with all re- 
quirements of Standard No. 210, including the loca- 
tion requirements, if the proposed rule were adopted 
as a final rule and became effective. This would 
obligate Subaru to redesign the rear-seat lap/ 
shoulder belt system in its Loyale station wagon, 
conduct testing of the redesign, and incorporate the 
redesign into production. In comments similar to 
those of Ford, Subaru asserted that the proposed 
leadtime until September 1989 was too short, but 
that vehicles manufactured after September 1990 
could comply with the proposed requirements. 

When NHTSA proposed that this rule become 
effective nine months after the NPRM was pub- 
lished, the agency recognized that this amount of 
leadtime was substantially less than is frequently 
proposed for other significant rulemakings. This 
foreshortened leadtime reflected NHTSA's belief 
that manufacturers would not need to make engi- 



neering or design changes to install lap/shoulder 
belts in the rear outboard seating positions of pas- 
senger cars other than convertibles, especially in ^p 
view of the substantial commitments for voluntary W 
installation of such belts. See the discussion under 
the heading, 9. Proposed Timing for Applying These 
Requirements to Vehicle Types, in the preamble to 
the NPRM (53 FR 47991). The Ford and Subaru 
comments show instances where the agency's tenta- 
tive conclusions about the sufficiency of the leadtime 
were inaccurate, because those manufacturers would 
need to make engineering and design changes to 
comply with the proposed requirements. 

After reviewing the comments, NHTSA does not 
believe that a final rule would be "practicable" if it 
were effective in September 1989 and adopted all of 
the NPRM's proposed requirements for integral 
rear-seat lap/shoulder belts using anchorages that 
comply with Standard No. 210. However, a final rule 
adopting a general requirement for rear-seat lap/ 
shoulder belts effective six months after publication 
of this final rule would be practicable, if the require- 
ments did not require integral belts or complying 
anchorages. This general requirement would ensure 
all cars had lap/shoulder belts installed as original 
equipment in the rear seat. Some production 
changes might still be needed, since Ford had not 
planned to install the shoulder belt retrofit kits as 
original equipment in the single line discussed jM 
above. However, these production changes would be 
practicable 180 days after publication of this rule. 

Accordingly, NHTSA has decided to adopt a gen- 
eral requirement that passenger cars other than 
convertibles be equipped with rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belts, beginning 180 days after this rule is pub- 
lished. This general requirement specifically ex- 
cludes these rear-seat safety belts from the existing 
requirements that lap/shoulder belts be integral and 
that anchorages comply with all requirements of 
Standard No. 210. These exclusions will expire Au- 
gust 31, 1990. Hence, all passenger cars other than 
convertibles manufactured on or after September 1, 
1990, must have integral rear-seat lap/shoulder belts 
and use shoulder belt anchorages that comply with 
all requirements of Standard No. 210. 

As noted above, the second step of the agency's 
final action in this rulemaking will address all of the 
detailed proposals set forth in the NPRM for all the 
vehicle types. The issue of the retractor type that 
should be required for passenger car rear-seat lap/ 
shoulder belts, and its compatibility with child re- 
straint systems, will be addressed during that sec- 
ond step, not in this rule. This rule leaves the 
existing provisions of S7.1.1 of Standard No. 208 in ^ 
place. Those provisions require that the lap belt |^ 
adjust by means of either an automatic locking 
retractor (ALR) or an emergency locking retractor 



PART 571; S210-PRE 26 



(ELR), and the shoulder belt adjust by means of 
either an ELR or a manual adjusting device. That 
^ second rule will also address vehicles other than 
Mpassenger cars, as well as the definition of an "out- 
board seat," details of the comfort and convenience 
requirements, special requirements for tension- 
relieving devices on these belts, and the other issues 
raised in comments on the NPRM. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 571 
is amended as follows: 
S4.1.4 is revised to read as follows: 
S4.1.4 Passenger cars manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1989. 

54.1.4.1 Except as provided in S4.1.5 and S4.1.4.2, 
each passenger car manufactured on or after Sep- 
tember 1, 1989, shall comply with the requirements 
of S4. 1.2.1. Until September 1, 1993, each car whose 
driver's designated seating position complies with 
the requirements of S4. 1.2. 1(a) by means not includ- 
ing any type of seat belt and whose right front 
designated seating position is equipped with a man- 
ual Type 2 seat belt that meets the requirements of 
.85. 1, with the Type 2 seat belt assembly adjusted in 
accordance with S7.4.2, shall be counted as a vehicle 
complying with S4. 1.2.1. A vehicle shall not be 
deemed to be in noncompliance with this standard if 
its manufacturer establishes that it did not have 
reason to know in the exercise of due care that such 
vehicle is not in conformity with the requirement of 

)this standard. 

54.1.4.2 (a) Each passenger car, other than a 
convertible, manufactured on or after December 11, 
1989 and before September 1, 1990, shall be 
equipped with a Type 2 seat belt assembly at every 
forward-facing rear outboard designated seating po- 
sition. Type 2 seat belt assemblies installed in 
compliance with this requirement shall comply with 
Standard No. 209 (49 CFR §571.209) and with 
S7.1.1 of this standard. 

(b) Each passenger car, other than a convertible. 



I 



manufactured on or after September 1, 1990, shall 
be equipped with an integral Type 2 seat belt assem- 
bly at every forward-facing rear outboard designated 
seating position. Type 2 seat belt assemblies in- 
stalled in compliance with this requirement shall 
comply with Standard No. 209 (49 CFR § 571.209) 
and with S7.1.1 and S7.2 of this standard. 
***** 

§ 571.210 [Amended] 

The introductory text of S4.3 of Standard No. 210 
is revised to read as follows: 

S4.3 LocatioTL As used in this section, "forward" 
means the direction in which the seat faces, and 
other directional references are to be interpreted 
accordingly. Anchorages for automatic seat belt as- 
semblies and for dynamically tested seat belt assem- 
blies that meet the frontal crash protection require- 
ments of S5.1 of Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 
§ 571.208) are exempt from the location require- 
ments of this section. Anchorages are exempt from 
the requirements of S4.3.2 of this standard, if those 
anchorages are for the upper torso portion of a Type 
2 seat belt assembly installed at a forward-facing 
rear outboard seating position of a passenger car, 
other than a convertible, that is manufactured on or 
after December 11, 1989 and before September 1, 
1990. 



Issued on June 9, 1989 



Jeffrey R. Miller 
Acting Administrator 

54 F.R. 25275 
June 14, 1989 



I) 



PART 571; S210-PRE 27-28 



r 



c 



r^ 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR 
VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 

School Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection 

(Docket No. 87-08; Notice 5) 

RIN:2127-AD12 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule establishes a new requirement 
for lap/shoulder safety belts to be installed in all 
forward-facing rear outboard seating positions in con- 
vertible passenger cars, light trucks and multipurpose 
passenger vehicles (e.g., passenger vans and utility 
vehicles), and small buses. Rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belts are estimated to be even more effective than 
rear-seat lap-only belts in reducing fatalities and 
moderate-to-severe injuries. As safety belt use in the 
rear seat of these vehicle types increases, the greater 
effectiveness of rear-seat lap/shoulder belts should 
yield progressively greater safety benefits. NHTSA 
also anticipates that this rule will achieve benefits by 
helping to increase safety belt use in rear seating 
positions of these vehicle types, by providing rear-seat 
occupants with maximum safety protection when they 
buckle up. 

This rule also establishes a requirement for lap/ 
shoulder belts to be installed at the driver's seat and at 
any other front outboard seating position in small 
buses. NHTSA believes that lap/shoulder safety belts 
in these small buses will offer the same benefits as 
lap/shoulder belts in those positions offer to occupants 
of passenger cars, light trucks, and light multipurpose 
passenger vehicles. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The amendments of S7.1.1.3 and 
S7.1.1.5 are effective on September 1, 1991. All the 
other amendments made by this rule take effect on 
May 1, 1990. These requirements apply to convertible 
passenger cars, light trucks, light multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles, and small buses manufactured on or 
after September 1, 1991. Convertible passenger cars, 
light trucks, light multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
and small buses manufactured before September 1, 
1991 may also comply with these requirements. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background. 

On January 1, 1968, the initial Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standards took effect. One of those standards 
was Standard No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection (49 
CFR 571.208), which required the installation of 
lap/shoulder safety belts at the driver's and right front 



passenger's seating positions of passenger cars, and 
either lap-only or lap/shoulder safety belts at every 
other designated seating position. Another of the 
initial safety standards that took effect on January 1, 
1968 was Standard No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly An- 
chorages (49 CFR 571.210), which specified location 
and strength requirements for the anchorages used to 
hold the safety belts to the passenger car during a 
crash. Standard No. 210 required passenger car manu- 
facturers to provide anchorages for lap/shoulder belts 
for each forward-facing front and rear outboard seating 
position in all cars other than convertibles. NHTSA 
subsequently amended both of these .standards to 
extend their applicability to trucks, multipurpose 
passenger vehicles (MPVs), and buses. However, when 
Standard No. 210 was extended to these additional 
vehicle types, NHTSA did not require the manu- 
facturers to provide upper torso (i.e., shoulder belt) 
anchorages for rear outboard seating positions in these 
other vehicle types or in convertible passenger cars. 

Studies of occupant protection from 1968 forward 
show that the lap-only safety belts installed in rear 
seating positions are effective in reducing the risk of 
death and injury. See, for example, the studies cited in 
the ANPRM on this subject; 52 FR 22820, June 16. 
1987. However, the agency believes that rear-seat 
lap/shoulder safety belts would be even more effective. 
NHTSA estimates that rear-seat lap-only belts reduce 
the risk of death by 24-40 percent, while rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts reduce that risk by 32-50 percent. 
The somewhat greater effectiveness of lap/shoulder 
belts vs. lap-only belts in the rear seat results in 
progressively greater actual safety benefits for rear- 
seat occupants, to the extent that those safety belts 
are, in fact, used. As recently as 1981-82, only two 
percent of rear-seat occupants used their safety belts. 
At that level of belt use, there are very few safety 
benefits from requiring rear-seat lap/shoulder belts 
instead of lap-only belts. However, belt use in the rear 
seat has steadily risen, with 16 percent of rear seat 
occupants buckling up in 1987. As rear-seat belt use 
continues to rise, the incremental benefits of rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts can be realized. 



PART 571; S210-PRE 29 



The increase in belt use in rear seats was one of the 
factors reflected in the agency's decision to grant a 
petition by the Los Angeles Area Child Passenger 
Safety Association asking NHTSA to establish a 
requirement for rear-seat lap/shoulder safety belts. 
After granting this petition, NHTSA published an 
advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on 
June 16, 1987 (52 FR 22818). Thirty-four commenters 
responded to the ANFRM's request for comments on 
the need for rulemaking action to require lap/shoulder 
safety belts in rear seating positions. 

After considering these comments, NHTSA con- 
cluded that several factors had changed since the 
agency had previously examined this issue and deter- 
mined that it was appropriate to give vehicle manu- 
facturers the option of installing either lap-only belts 
or lap/shoulder belts in rear seats. Among the changed 
factors were the substantial increase in rear seat 
safety belt use and the substantial decrease in costs of 
a requirement for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts, because 
of manufacturers voluntarily equipping more and 
more of their vehicles with rear seat lap/shoulder 
belts. After analyzing the effects of these changed 
factors and the comments on the ANPRM, NHTSA 
tentatively determined that a requirement for lap/ 
shoulder belts would now be appropriate. Accordingly, 
NHTSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) on November 29, 1988 (53 FR 47982). 

This NPRM was a comprehensive proposal that 
proposed requirements for passenger cars and light 
trucks, MPVs, and small buses to be equipped with 
lap/shoulder safety belts at all forward-facing rear 
outboard seating positions. Additionally, the NPRM 
proposed that these lap/shoulder safety belts be equip- 
ped with a particular type of retractor, that such belts 
be integral (i.e., the shoulder belt could not be detach- 
able from the lap belt), and that such belts comply with 
some of the comfort and convenience requirements 
specified in section S7.4 of Standard No. 208. 

More than 70 comments were received on this 
NPRM. The issue of whether passenger cars other 
than convertibles would be equipped with rear seat 
lap/shoulder belts was straightforward and noncontro- 
versial, with only two commenters suggesting some 
modifications of the agency's proposal to require all 
1990 and subsequent model year passenger cars to be 
equipped with rear-seat lap/shoulder belts. To ensure 
the earliest possible implementation of a requirement 
for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in passenger cars, on 
June 14, 1989, NHTSA published a final rule addressing 
only those vehicles (54 FR 25275). That rule requires 
rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in all passenger cars 
manufactured on or after December 11, 1989. 

This rule addresses all of the other issues that were 
presented in the November, 1988 NPRM on this topic. 
For the convenience of the reader, this rule uses the 
same organization and format as the NPRM did. 



Requirements of this Rule 

1. Seating Positions Subject to These Requirements 

The NPRM proposed that lap/shoulder belts be 
required in rear seats at outboard seating positions 
only. Some commenters suggested that technologies 
and designs are available to provide lap/shoulder belts 
at rear center seating positions, and that NHTSA 
should further examine this issue. The agency ex- 
plained in the NPRM that there are more technical 
difficulties associated with any requirement for 
lap/shoulder belts at center rear seating positions, and 
that lap/shoulder belts at center rear seating positions 
would yield small safety benefits and substantially 
greater costs, given the lower center seat occupancy 
rate and the more difficult engineering task. Accord- 
ingly, this rulemaking excluded further consideration 
of a requirement for center rear seating positions. 
None of the commenters presented any new data that 
would cause the agency to change its tentative con- 
clusion on this subject that was announced in the 
NPRM. 

The NPRM also noted that seating positions adjacent 
to aisleways in some vans might not be "outboard 
designated seating positions" as defined at 49 CFR 
§571.3, because those aisle seats could be more than 
12 inches from the inside of the vehicle. General 
Motors (GM) stated its belief that this discussion 
showed the agency's intent to exclude seats that 
border aisleways from the lap/shoulder belt require- 
ment. GM suggested that the reasons for excluding 
these seating positions from the lap/shoulder belt 
requirement were the costs and/or practical difficulties 
that would be presented if aisleway seating positions 
were required to be equipped with lap/shoulder belts. 
Specifically, GM stated that locating the anchorage for 
the upper end of the shoulder belt on the aisle side of 
the vehicle would stretch the shoulder belt across the 
aisleway and cause entry and exit problems for occu- 
pants of seating positions to the rear of the aisleway 
seating position. To avoid such difficulties, the an- 
chorage for the upper end of the shoulder belt could be 
moved to the roof of the vehicle. However, roof struc- 
tural modifications would have to be made to accom- 
modate the anchorage, and these modifications would 
impose disproportionately high costs. GM stated in its 
comments that these reasons would apply with equal 
force to all seats adjacent to aisleways, regardless of 
whether such seats were more than or less than 12 
inches from the inside of the vehicle. 

NHTSA has determined that these comments have 
merit. The agency did not mean to suggest that 
shoulder belts should be required at seating positions 
where they would obstruct an aisle designed to give 
access to rear seating positions. Accordingly, this rule 
has been modified from the proposal to specify that 
these rear-seat lap/shoulder belt requirements apply 



f 



r 



PART 571; S210-PRE 30 



to rear outboard seating positions except any outboard 
seating positions that are adjacent to a walkway 
located between the seat and the side of the vehicle to 
allow access to more rearward seating positions. Of 
\ course, in those cases where manufacturers are able to 
design and install lap/shoulder belts at seating posi- 
tions adjacent to aisleways without interfering with 
the aisleway's purpose of allowing access to more 
rearward seating positions, NHTSA encourages the 
manufacturers to do so. It should also be noted that 
those rear seating positions at which lap/shoulder 
belts are not installed voluntarily or in response to a 
regulatory requirement arc required by Standard No. 
208 to be equipped with lap-only safety belts, which 
have been proven effective in reducing the risk of death 
and injury. 



2. Types of Rear Seats Subject to These Requirements 

The NPRM proposed limiting these requirements to 
forward-facing rtar outboard seats, because the agency 
is unaware of any data showing that occupants of 
center-facing or rear-facing seating positions would be 
significantly better protected by lap/shoulder belts 
than by lap-only belts. The NPRM also referred to an 
April 8, 1988 letter to Mr. Ohdaira of Isuzu Motors, in 
which NHTSA stated that S7.1.1 of Standard No. 208 
requires safety belts on swivel seats installed ai front 
outboard seating positions tb adjust to fit occupants 
\ "with the seat in any position." Because the same 
7 regulatory language would apply to swivel seats in- 
stalled at rear outboard seating positions if the proposal 
were adopted as a final rule, the NPRM proposed to add 
express regulatory language to S7.1.1 to codify the 
interpretation. 

Three commenters responded to this discussion in 
the NPRM. Ford, Nissan, and Toyota raised sub- 
stantially the same points in their comments. These 
commenters all suggested that the agency ought to 
require swivel seats to provide lap/shoulder belts for 
occupants when the seats are forward-facing, but 
permit occupants to be restrained by lap-only belts 
when the swivel seats are adjusted to some position 
other than forward-facing. These manufacturers 
argued that the overall protection of upper torso 
restraints (i.e., shoulder belts) on occupants of center- 
facing seating positions is unclear. For example, in 
certain instances, the design standard in Australia 
prohibits manufacturers from providing upper torso 
restraints at center-facing seating positions. Further, 
these manufacturers stated that they knew of no crash 
data suggesting the need for such a requirement. 
According to these commenters, the absence of demon- 
strable safety benefits associated with such a re- 
quirement combined with the demonstrable techno- 
I I logical problems and costs associated with such a 



requirement should lead the agency to require only lap 
belts when swivel seats are adjusted to a position other 
than forward-facing. 

NHTSA was persuaded by these comments. Indeed, 
as Ford noted in its comments, just as the NPRM 
stated that no data show that occupants of center- 
facing or rear-facing seats would be significantly 
better protected by lap/shoulder belts instead of lap- 
only belts, no data show that occupants of swivel seats 
adjusted to the center-facing or rear-facing positions 
would be significantly better protected by lap/shoulder 
belts instead of lap-only belts. Accordingly, this final 
rule adds language to Standard No. 208 that requires 
swivel seats to provide lap/shoulder belts for occupants 
when the seat is adjusted to the forward-facing position 
and permits swivel seats to provide lap-only belts for 
occupants when the seat is adjusted to some position 
other than forward-facing. The Ohdaira interpretation 
is, therefore, overruled to the extent that it is in- 
consistent with this new language in Standard No. 
208. 

In its comments. Ford indicated that it would be 
appropriate for this preamble to discuss a type of seat 
Ford is considering installing in future vehicle models. 
This seat was described as a bench seat that converts 
from forward-facing to rear-facing. Under the language 
added to Standard No. 208 by this rule, all seats that 
can be adjusted to a forward-facing position and some 
other position, regardless of whether such seats are 
swivel seats, convertible seats of the sort described in 
Ford's comment, or any other such seat, must provide 
lap/shoulder belts when in the forward-facing position 
and may provide lap-only belts when adjusted to some 
position other than forward-facing. 

3. Vehicle Types Subject to These Requirements 
a. Passenger Cars 

In the NPRM, the agency proposed to make the 
requirement for rear seat lap/shoulder belts apply to 
all passenger cars, including convertibles. As previous- 
ly discussed, the requirements for passenger cars 
other than convertibles were published in a June 14, 
1989 final rule (54 FR 25275). The NPRM proposed that 
rear seat lap/shoulder belts be required on convertible 
passenger cars manufactured on or after September 1, 
1991. 

In its comments, Volkswagen asked for an additional 
year of leadtime, until September 1, 1992, before rear 
seat lap/shoulder belts must be installed in convertible 
passenger cars. According to this commenter, the 
convertible version of its Golf model (the Cabriolet) is 
not currently equipped with rear seat lap/shoulder 
belts, was not originally designed to accommodate 
such belts, and will need substantial modifications to 
its current design if the car is to accommodate such 
belts. 



PART571;S210-PRE31 



No change has been made in response to this 
comment. The NPRM noted that it was more difficult 
to install rear seat lap/shoulder belts in convertibles 
than in other passenger cars, but that, in spite of these 
difficulties, at least three different manufacturers had 
rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in their 1988 model year 
convertibles. Accordingly, the agency proposed to 
require convertible passenger cars to be equipped with 
rear-seat lap/shoulder belts, but to allow two years 
more leadtime than was proposed for other passenger 
cars, in recognition of the greater technical difficulties. 
Volkswagen's comment appears to be that more than 
two years of additional leadtime is needed to overcome 
the greater technical difficulties associated with con- 
vertibles, although the comment does not include any 
explanation or analysis of why this is so. A manu- 
facturer's unsubstantiated desire for additional lead- 
time is not a sufficient basis for the agency to postpone 
the proposed September 1, 1991 effective date for rear 
seat lap/shoulder belts in convertibles. Therefore, this 
rule adopts the proposed requirement. 

b. Light Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles. 

This vehicle type consists primarily of passenger 
vans with a seating capacity of 10 persons or less and 
utility vehicles and other off-road vehicles. None of the 
commenters suggested any particular problems that a 
requirement for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts would 
impose on MPVs in general. Toyota repeated its 
position that the voluntary installation of rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts by manufacturers in all vehicle 
types made it unnecessary for NHTSA to proceed with 
this rulemaking. NHTSA responded at length to similar 
comments by the vehicle manufacturers in the pre- 
amble to the NPRM; see 53 FR 47984. 

Ford did not object to the proposed general require- 
ment for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in light MPVs, 
but asked that open-body type MPVs be excluded from 
the requirement. Ford explained its comment by 
stating that its Bronco II utility vehicle has a removable 
roof over the rear passenger and cargo area. According 
to Ford's comments, "Because the removable roof on 
this vehicle extends below the shoulder reference 
point, it would be impossible to obtain a good shoulder 
belt fit if the shoulder belt anchorages were to be 
located on the non-removable side panels of the vehicle." 
For these reasons. Ford suggested that open-body type 
MPVs be exempted from these requirements or that 
the proposed requirements be revised to make clear 
that rear-seat lap/shoulder belts are not required in 
open-body type MPVs when the roof is removed. 

NHTSA agrees with Ford's assertions that open- 
body type MPVs present greater technical difficulties 
for the installation of rear seat lap/shoulder belts than 
other MPVs or convertible passenger cars. For example. 



the rear seats are closer to the rear of the vehicle and 
the rear seats are higher in relation to the vehicle floor 
and sides in most open-body type MPVs than in most ^ 
convertible passenger cars. The agency concurs with ^ 
Ford's assertion that these factors tend to make the W 
shoulder belt geometry more difficult in open-body 
type MPVs. However, the agency does not believe that 
these factors present insurmountable engineering dif- 
ficulties. Instead, NHTSA believes that these problems 
can be solved in a relatively straightforward manner. 
While manufacturers cannot use the exact same 
designs used for convertible passenger cars on open- 
body type MPVs, the convertible passenger car designs 
can be modified for use in open-body type MPVs. 
NHTSA concludes that if it is practicable to offer the 
increased protection of shoulder belts at rear outboard 
seating positions, and the added costs are comparable 
to the costs for other MPVs and convertible passenger 
cars, there is no reason to exclude open-body type 
MPVs from the requirement for rear seat lap/shoulder 
belts in MPVs. Hence, no change has been made to the 
proposed requirements for MPVs in response to this 
comment by Ford. 

The agency notes that this means that lap/shoulder 
belts will be required in the rear outboard seats of 
open-body type MPVs, while lap-only belts will be 
permitted in front outboard seats of those vehicles. (In ^ 
practice, however, manufacturers have voluntarily ' 
provided front-seat lap/shoulder belts in these vehicles.) ^ 
NHTSA is in the process of re-examining the occupant ■ 
protection requirements for the front seating positions 
in open-body type MPVs and other light trucks and 
vans, with particular consideration of whether auto- 
matic occupant protection should be required in these 
vehicles. NHSTA will address the discrepancy between 
the regulatory requirements for front and rear seat 
occupant protection in open-body type MPVs in the 
course of that re-examination. 

c. Light Trucks and Small Buses 

All commenters that addressed the proposed require- 
ments for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in light trucks 
supported the proposal. Similarly, no commenters 
raised any objections to the proposed rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belt requirements in small 
buses other than school buses. Thus, those proposed 
requirements are adopted, for the reasons explained in 
the NPRM. 

However, several commenters, primarily school bus 
manufacturers and operators, objected to the proposed 
requirements for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in small 
school buses. Thomas Built, a school bus manufacturer, 
questioned the effectiveness of rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belts in certain small school buses ("body on chassis" 
buses). The Connecticut Operators of School Trans- » 



PART 571; S210-PRE 32 



portation Association (COSTA) also questioned the 
effectiveness of lap/shoulder belts in small school 
buses, by voicing concerns about how the additional 
stress on the side walls of a small school bus would 
affect its compliance with Standard No. 221, School 
Bus Body Joint Strength (49 CPR 571 .221). Thomas 
Built also raised the issue of different levels of safety 
protection for passengers on small school buses, with 
lap/shoulder belts for outboard seating positions and 
lap-only belts for the the inboard seating positions. 
The National School Transportation Association 
(NSTA) likewise objected to the different levels of 
occupant protection that would result if some seating 
positions were equipped with lap/shoulder belts while 
others were equipped with lap-only belts. Blue Bird, 
another school bus manufacturer, raised similar ob- 
jections, claiming that NHTSA occupant protection 
standards for school buses are "disorganized and 
confusing," and suggested that the agency undertake 
rulemaking to separate the occupant protection re- 
quirements for school buses from the occupant pro- 
tection standards for passenger cars and light trucks. 
Additionally, Blue Bird argued that the requirements 
proposed in the NPRM would require too many varieties 
of occupant protection for small school buses. 

NHTSA is concerned if Blue Bird or any other school 
bus manufacturer is having difficulty understanding 
the occupant protection requirements applicable to the 
different types of vehicles that can be used to transport 
school children. A brief summary of those requirements 
might be helpful. If school systems use a nine or fewer 
passenger vehicle to transport school children, that 
vehicle is not a "school bus" for the purposes of the 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards. Accordingly, 
that vehicle'is not subject to any of the requirements in 
Standard No. 222, School Bus Passenger Seating and 
Crash Prdtection (49 CFR §571.222). Instead, that 
vehicle would have to comply with the applicable 
requirements in Standard No. 208. As a result of this 
rule published today and the agency's previous rule- 
making, all front and rear outboard seating positions 
in nine-passenger light vehicles must be equipped with 
lap/shoulder safety belts, irrespective of whether the 
nine-passenger light vehicle is classified as a passenger 
car, truck, or an MPV. 

If the vehicle used to transport school children can 
accommodate 10 or more passengers, the vehicle is a 
"school bus" for the purposes of the Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards. Every vehicle that is a 
"school bus" must comply with the occupant protection 
requirements of Standard No. 222. In the case of school 
buses with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 
more than 10,000 pounds, no safety belts are required 
at seating positions other than the driver's seat. 
Instead, Standard No. 222 sets forth requirements that 
protect occupants of rear seating positions in large 



school buses by means of a concept called "compart- 
mentalization." Persons interested in learning more 
about the concept of compartmentalization and occu- 
pant protection in large school buses may wish to 
review the agency's notice terminating rulemaking to 
specify installation requirements for voluntarily in- 
stalled safety belts on large school buses. This notice 
was published March 22, 1989 at 54 FR 11765. 

In the case of school buses with a GVWR of 10,000 
pounds or less. Standard No. 222 requires that occu- 
pants be protected both by safety belts at seating 
positions other than the driver's seat and by most of 
the features of compartmentalization. This double 
means of occupant protection reflects the more severe 
"crash pulse" or deceleration experienced by lighter 
vehicles as compared with heavier vehicles in similar 
collisions. Sections S5(b) of Standard No. 222 requires 
that small school buses meet the requirements of 
Standard No. 208 as those requirements apply to 
MPVs. The provisions of Standard No. 208 currently 
require MPVs (and small school buses, since the 
requirements for these two vehicle types are linked) to 
be equipped with lap/shoulder safety belts at front 
outboard seats and either lap/shoulder belts or lap- 
only belts at all other seating positions. 1 

Upon further consideration, NHTSA has determined 
that the occupant protection requirements for small 
school buses should be considered separately, not as an 
aspect of the rulemaking action. In the past, NHTSA 
has recognized the special importance of issues related 
to school buses by examining many of those issues in 
rulemaking actions focused exclusively on school buses, 
instead of examining those issues as one part of a 
rulemaking addressing many types of vehicles. This 
policy has allowed both the agency and the public to 
consider fully the implications of any proposed action 
on school buses safety. NHTSA believes it is appro- 
priate to continue following this policy. Accordingly, 
this rule continues to permit small school buses to be 
equipped with either lap-only or lap/shoulder safety 
belts at all rear seating positions, but small school 
buses must also comply with most of the compart- 
mentalization requirements for large school buses. All 
other small buses will be required to be equipped with 
rear-seat lap/shoulder safety belts, but will not be 
required to comply with the compartmentalization 
requirements. 

The NPRM acknowledged that small buses other 
than school buses are not currently required to have 
lap/shoulder safety belts at front outboard seating 
positions, even though front seats generally present a 
more hostile crash environment than rear seats. As 
noted above, small school buses are subject to the 
occupant protection requirements for MPVs, and small 
MPVs have long been required to have lap/shoulder 
safety belts at front outboard seating positions. No 



PART571;S210-PRE33 



commenters suggested any reasons why front-seat 
lap/shoulder belts should not be required in small 
buses, just as they are required in small school buses. 
This rule adopts such a requirement. 

4. Vehicle Types NOT Subject to These Requirements 

a. Vehicles with a GVWR of More Than 10,000 
Pounds 

NHTSA has traditionally used GVWRs as dividing 
lines for the purposes of applying occupant crash 
protection standards. These groupings reflect the 
differences in the vehicles' functions and crash re- 
sponses and exposure. The NPRM proposed to use 
such a dividing line by limiting the rear seat lap/ 
shoulder belt requirements to vehicles with a GVWR 
of 10,000 pounds or less. No commenters addressed 
this issue, and this rule adopts the proposal. 

b. Motor Homes 

The NPRM proposed to exclude vehicles that are 
"motor homes" from the rear-seat lap/shoulder belt 
requirements, because lap/shoulder belts at rear seat- 
ing positions might interfere with the residential 
purposes of those seats and because the agency had no 
evidence of significant potential benefits from lap/ 
shoulder belts, instead of the currently permitted 
option for lap/shoulder or lap-only belts, at these 
seating positions. The NPRM also proposed a specific 
definition of "motor home." These proposed require- 
ments are adopted in this rule. 

5. Retractor Types Required for Rear Seat Lap/Shoulder 
Belts 

Retractors at Driver's Seat in Small Buses. 

The NPRM proposed to require that the lap/shoulder 
belt assembly installed at the driver's seating position 
of small buses include an anti-cinch automatic locking 
retractor (ALR) on the lap belt portion. Both Ford and 
Chrysler objected to this proposed requirement, stating 
that it would preclude the use of the continuous loop 
lap/shoulder belt system in small buses. The con- 
tinuous loop system, currently used on most manual 
lap/shoulder belt systems in passenger cars, uses a 
single emergency locking retractor (ELR) on one end of 
the belt system and the other end of the belt system is 
fixed. The ELR then retracts both the lap and shoulder 
belt portions of the belt system. Ford and Chrysler 
each commented that they currently use a continuous 
loop system for the lap/shoulder belts that they 
voluntarily install at the front outboard seating posi- 
tions of their small buses, and that they knew of no 
safety justification for a requirement that would 
prohibit the use of continuous loop system in small 
buses, as the proposed requirement for an ALR for the 
lap belt would have the effect of doing. NHTSA was 
persuaded by these comments. This rule has been 
amended to permit the belt systems at front outboard 



seating positions in small buses to be equipped with 
either an ELR or an anti-cinch ALR for the lap belt 
portion. ^^ 

Retractors for Rear Seats and Child Safety V 
Seats ^ 

The NPRM contained a detailed discussion of the 
agency's previous statements on this subject, and 
repeated the agency's previous conclusion that only 
ELRs should be permitted as the retractor for the lap 
belt portion of the lap/shoulder belt system. See 53 PR 
47987-47989; November 29, 1988. The agency's con- 
clusion was based on the fact that ELRs for the lap belt 
made the belt system more comfortable and convenient 
for adult occupants, thereby tending to increase use of 
the belt system. Although active children can make 
some child restraint systems unstable if the child 
restraint is secured by a lap belt that incorporates an 
ELR, NHTSA knew of no data to show that this 
potential instability would affect the safety perfor- 
mance of the child restraint in motor vehicle crashes. 
Those parents that wanted to eliminate the potential 
instability of child restraints, even if the instability did 
not have any demonstrable effect on safety, could 
purchase locking clips. These locking clips can prevent 
movement of belts equipped with an ELR. 

NHTSA received many comments on this discussion 
and the accompanying proposal. Many pediatricians 
and other medical professionals, as well as advocates 
of child safety, associations representing the insurance ^ 
industry, and manufacturers of child safety seats, ^ 
commented that it was important that the belt system 
in the vehicle be capable of tightly securing a child 
seat, without resort to any additional hardware like 
locking clips. The commenters suggested differing 
means of achieving this end. Some of these commenters 
advocated that this rule should specify the use of only 
ALRs in the lap belt portion, because ALRs auto- 
matically tighten down to secure the child seat. Other 
of these commenters, such as the Los Angeles Area 
Child Passenger Safety Association, urged the agency 
to draft this rule to require the use of convertible 
retractors similar to those installed in some General 
Motors vehicles. These convertible retractors function 
as ELRs normally, to ensure comfort for adult occu- 
pants. When the belt webbing is fully extended, 
however, the retractors convert to ALRs, to tightly 
secure child seats. Other of these commenters sug- 
gested that the agency could ensure that these rear- 
seat lap/shoulder belt systems would tightly secure 
child seats by following the course of action being 
considered for recommendation by a Society of Auto- 
motive Engineers (SAE) Task Force. That task force 
may recommend that safety belts which incorporate 
ELRs in the lap belt or lap belt portion of a belt 
assembly shall include a means for locking the lap belt 
when it is used with a child seat. Instead of specifying 



PART 571; S210-PRE 34 



> 



the use of some specific technology, like ALRs or 
convertible retractors, this approach sets forth the 
desired goal and permits manufacturers to use any 
available technology to achieve that goal. 

Some of the vehicle manufacturers, such as Nissan 
and Toyota, believe that there is no need for any 
further requirements. According to these commenters, 
and persons wishing to secure a child seat at a seating 
position whose lap belt is equipped with ELR can cause 
the retractor to perform like an ALR simply by using a 
locking clip. Volvo commented that the agency ought 
to permit the use of a continuous loop lap/shoulder 
belt. Volvo asserted that its design of the continuous 
loop system uses friction at the loop in the buckle to 
achieve an effect similar to that which would be 
obtained by using a locking clip. In Volvo's opinion, 
this lap/shoulder belt system is the best means of both 
securing child safety seats and ensuring comfort for 
other occupants of the belt system. Chrysler com- 
mented that it was considering modifications to the 
buckle latchplate as a means of accomplishing the 
same effect as would locking clips for its belt assemblies 
equipped with ELRs. 

NHTSA has reached the following conclusions after 
reexamining the available information in light of these 
comments. Nothing in these comments or the available 
information shows that low-speed movement of child 
safety seats actually reduces to any significant extent 
the effectiveness of those seats in crashes. However, 
the low-speed movement of child safety seats held by 
lap belts that use an ELR seems to have given rise to 
questions and concerns about the safety and effective- 
ness of child seats when used with a belt that in- 
corporates an ELR. Even if these questions and 
concerns have not been substantiated, the public may 
not be as likely to use child safety seats if there are 
perceived questions about the effectiveness of those 
seats. NHTSA has concluded that it is appropriate to 
take action to remove these perceived questions, so as 
to maintain public trust and confidence in the efficacy 
of child seats. 

The agency was persuaded by the comments assert- 
ing that it would be unnecessarily restrictive to 
require the use of ALRs on the lap belt portion of rear 
seat lap/shoulder belts, because there are design 
features other than incorporating an ALR that are as 
effective in ensuring that the belt system can tightly 
secure a child safety seat and because such a feature 
could reduce safety belt use by adult occupants. 
NHTSA has devised an approach in this final rule that 
will ensure comfort for adult occupants and tight 
securing of child safety seats. First, this rule requires 
that any lap belt or lap belt portion of a lap/shoulder 
belt installed at an outboard designated seating position 
in compliance with Standard No. 208 shall be equipped 



with an ELR. This requirement will take effect on 
September 1, 1991 for passenger cars, as well as the 
vehicle types addressed in this rule. 

Second, this final rule requires that safety belts that 
incorporate an ELR in the lap belt or lap belt portion of 
a lap/shoulder belt shall provide some means other 
than an external device that requires manual attach- 
ment or activation that will prevent any further 
webbing from spooling out until that means is released 
or deactivated. This requirement will also take effect 
on September 1, 1991 for passenger cars and vehicle 
types addressed in this rule. The purpose of this 
requirement is to ensure that child safety seats can be 
tightly secured. This requirement will Ko/allow vehicle 
manufacturers to provide "locking clops" to comply 
with this requirement. However, any means that can 
function without additional manual actions can satisfy 
this requirement. For instance, the convertible re- 
tractors on some GM vehicles would comply with this 
requirement. Additionally, devises like Volvo's are 
acceptable if those devices do not require any further 
manual actions to prevent webbing spool out. This 
approach is intended to allow vehicle manufacturers 
the freedom to choose whatever approach they prefer 
to prevent webbing spool out for ELRs, while ensuring 
that whatever approach is chosen will be effective. 

6. The Requirements With Which Rear Seat Lap/ 
Shoulder Belts Must Comply 

The NPRM did not propose to require any crash 
testing requirements for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts, 
for several reasons. First, neither dummy positioning 
procedures nor testing procedures for rear seat occu- 
pants have yet been developed. In fact, the rear seats 
are generally removed from vehicles when conducting 
compliance testing for occupant protection for the 
front seating positions, to allow the specified weight 
distribution to be more easily achieved and to permit 
the installation of additional instrumentation. Second, 
the rear seating positions offer a generally more benign 
crash environment than the front seating positions. 
Accordingly, the agency concluded that it could not 
justify delaying a proposal for rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belts until it was able to propose a requirement for 
dynamic testing of those safety belts. Several com- 
menters stated that they agreed with the agency's 
decision not to delay this rulemaking, but suggested 
that the agency ought to move expeditiously to estab- 
lish crash testing requirements for rear seat occu- 
pants. NHTSA will consider these comments when it 
establishes its priorities for future activities in the 
area of occupant protection. 

As an adjunct to the decision not to require crash 
testing of rear-seat lap/shoulder belts, the agency 
proposed to require that rear-seat lap/shoulder belts be 



PART 571; S210-PRE 35 



integral. Section S4.1.2.3.1 of Standard No. 208 speci- 
fies that manual safety belts installed at front outboard 
seating positions must be either (a) integral lap/ 
shoulder belts or (b) crash-tested lap-only belts such 
that the car complies with the occupant protection 
requirements with test dummies restrained only by 
the lap belts. However, since the agency cannot at this 
time promulgate any crash testing requirements for 
rear-seat safety belts, NHTSA believes it is appropriate 
to require that rear-seat lap/shoulder belts installed in 
compliance with this rule be integral; i.e., the lap belt 
must not be detachable from the shoulder belt. 

Several commenters suggested that the requirement 
for integral lap/shoulder belts should not apply to 
certain types of seats or vehicles, because of special 
difficulties posed for those seats or vehicles. In response 
to these comments, NHTSA has carefully reexamined 
it proposal to require that all rear seat lap/shoulder 
belts installed in compliance with this rule be integral. 
The agency prefers to retain the proposed requirement, 
for the same reasons that the requirement was pro- 
posed. That is, to the extent that the lap belt is 
detachable from the shoulder belt and the lap belt is 
used without the shoulder belt, the enhanced safety 
protection offered by lap/shoulder belts will not be 
achieved. The agency's responses to the comments 
suggesting that there are some seating positions or 
vehicles in which rear outboard lap/shoulder belts 
should not be required to be integral are as follows: 
a. Con vertible Passenger Cars. ASC , Inc. , a company 
that converts hardtops into convertibles, commented 
that it did not believe that rear-seat lap/shoulder belts 
installed in convertibles should be required to be 
integral. According to ASC's comments, a detachable 
shoulder belt that is not buckled would still offer the 
occupant the protection of the lap-only belt. While this 
comment is true, the purpose of this rulemaking is to 
ensure that rear-seat occupants will enjoy even greater 
safety protection than is afforded by lap-only belts. 
Detachable shoulder belts would not serve this purpose. 

ASC 's comment then asserted that "the detachability 
feature is essential for ASC to continue to manufacture 
at a competitive price a majority of its present con- 
vertible production which is already equipped with 
three point lap-shoulder safety belts." Accordingly, 
ASC believed that a requirement for integral rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts would have a "significant negative 
impact on its business." The agency has previously 
stated that it is typically more difficult to install rear- 
seat lap/shoulder belts in convertibles than in sedans 
or coupes. However, the 1988 convertible models 
produced by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Saab were all 
equipped with integral lap/shoulder belts at rear 
outboard seating positions. These voluntary actions 
by convertible manufacturers showed that the techni- 
cal difficulties associated with integral rear seat lap/ 
shoulder belts in convertibles can be overcome. It may 



well cost ASC , Inc. or other converters more to equip a 
convertible with integral rear-seat lap/shoulder belts 
than it would cost a high volume manufacturer. ^ 
However, ASC provided no data or cost estimates that m 
would permit the agency to estimate the cost differen- 
tial for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts installed by high 
volume manufacturers and converters. Based on the 
available information, NHTSA concludes that it is 
unlikely that any such cost differential would have 
more than an insignificant effect on the demand for 
convertibles produced by converters. 

NHTSA repeats it previous acknowledgements that 
it will cost manufacturers more to equip convertibles 
with integral rear seat lap/shoulder belts than it will 
cost to equip sedans and coupes with those safety 
belts. In its comments, Volkswagen stated that it 
would have to incur tooling costs of $1.2 million to 
install integral rear-seat lap/shoulder belts in its 
convertibles, with variable costs of an additional $60 
per vehicle to install integral lap/shoulder belts instead 
of lap-only belts. NHTSA estimates that these costs 
would result in a consumer cost increase of $90 per 
vehicle. Even accepting these costs as accurate, NHTSA 
does not believe that a $90 cost increase for conver- 
tibles, which already cost substantially more than the 
hardtop version of the same vehicle, will have any 
significant negative impacts on the demand for con- 
vertibles, even those produced by converters. 

To the extent that these costs result in some M 
relatively minor economic impacts, the agency con- W 
eludes that those costs and impacts are reasonable. 
The occupant s of rear seating positions in convertibles 
are exposed to at least the same degree of risk of death 
and injury in a motor vehicle crash as occupants of 
rear seating positions in other light vehicles. In these 
circumstances, NHTSA has concluded it is appropriate 
to provide those occupants with the same amount of 
safety protection. Therefore, a requirement that con- 
vertible passenger cars manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1991 be equipped with integral lap/shoul- 
der belts at rear outboard seating positions is adopted 
as proposed. 

Fiat filed comments on behalf of Ferrari to the effect 
that it waspossible to comply with the requirement for 
integral lap/shoulder belts for convertibles that were 
designed to include those safety belt systems. However, 
Fiat asserted that the steps needed to modify an 
existing convertible design to accept the upper an- 
chorages for rear seat lap/shoulder belts "would be 
financially intolerable." Fiat asked that this final rule 
be structured to provide an exemption for at least two 
years for existing convertible designs "which cannot 
be made to comply without extreme economic and 
technical hardships." NHTSA has not done so. Section ^ 
123 of the Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1410) and 49 CFR Part <F 
555 set forth procedures for obtaining temporary - 
exemptions from any of the generally applicable re- 



PART 571; S210-PRE 36 



quirements set forth in the safety standards. If Fiat is 
statutorily eligible for such an exemption and can 
make the requisite showings, it can obtain the tem- 
porary exemption it seeks in accordance with those 
statutory and regulatory requirements. 
b. Readily Removable Seats. In the NPRM for this 
rule, the agency summarized Ford's comment to the 
ANPRM asserting that lap/shoulder belts installed for 
readily removable seats should be permitted to be 
nonintegral, since that would be more convenient for 
persons using the vehicle especially with the seats 
removed. NHTSA concurred with this assertion, but 
noted that permitting detachable shoulder belts would 
result in lower usage of the shoulder belts and lower 
safety benefits for this rule. The agency suggested that 
manufacturers are capable of designing an integral 
lap/shoulder belt system that is nearly as convenient 
as safety belt systems with nonintegral shoulder belts. 
The NPRM suggested: "For instance, a shoulder belt 
that is readily detachable at the anchorage could be 
used for the outboard seating positions." 53 FR 47990, 
November 29, 1988. 

Both Ford and GM suggested in their comments that 
permitting belts to be detachable at the upper anchor- 
age would ease the problems of providing integral 
lap/shoulder belts at outboard seating positions of 
readily removable seats. However, both these com- 
menters also stated that a March 1 , 1985 interpretation 
letter from NHTSA's Chief Counsel to Mr. Hiroshi 
Shimizu of Tokai Rika Co. appeared to state that the 
provisions of Standard No. 208 forbid the use of a 
lap/shoulder safety belt that is detachable at the upper 
anchorage. 

Mr. Shimizu provided a diagram with his letter that 
illustrated the safety belt design in question. This 
diagram showed two reasons why this design would 
not comply with the requirements of Standard No. 208. 
First, because of the location of the retractor and the 
separate buckles for the lap and shoulder belt portions 
of this belt system, an occupant could release the 
shoulder belt buckle and use this system soley as a lap 
belt with no dangling shoulder belt webbing to alert 
the occupant to the need to fasten the shoulder belt 
buckle. Alternatively, an occupant could release the 
lap belt buckle and use the system solely as a shoulder 
belt with no dangling webbing to alert the occupant to 
the need to fasten the lap belt buckle. NHTSA stated 
that this design would not satisfy the requirement in 
S4.1.2.3.1 and S4.2.2 of Standard No. 208 the non- 
detachable shoulder belts be provided on some belt 
assemblies. 

Second, section S7.2 of Standard No. 208 requires 
that the latch mechanism of seat belt assemblies shall 
release both lap and shoulder belt simultaneously and 
release at a single point by a pushbutton action. When 
both the lap and shoulder belt portions of Mr. Shimizu's 



design were buckled, the occupant would have to 
release both buckles to get out of the belt system. 
Hence, this belt system could not comply with Standard 
No. 208 because the release from the lap and shoulder 
belt would not be simultaneous, nor would it be at a 
single point. 

NHTSA does not believe that the Shimizu inter- 
pretation forecloses all safety belt system designs that 
detach at the upper anchorage. The language of section 
S7.2 plainly requires that any such safety belt system 
must use a single, pushbutton buckle that releases the 
occupant from the lap belt and shoulder belt simul- 
taneously. There is nothing inherent in the design of a 
safety belt system detachable at the upper anchorage 
that makes it impossible to comply with these re- 
quirements. Similarly, a shoulder belt could be de- 
tachable at the upper anchorage without incorporating 
an additional point at which the belt could be released 
by the seat occupant, such as the buckle in Mr. 
Shimizu's design. For example, manufacturers could 
install some type of spring operated "dog leash" device 
that would not be equipped with a push button release 
mechanism. By a "dog leash" device, NHTSA is 
referring to a device that does not use any form of push 
button release. Such devices rely on other actions such 
as a slide button or slide collar to mechanically 
uncouple the belt system from the upper anchorage. 
Such a design would not be prohibited by Standard No. 
208 nor anything in the Shimizu interpretation. To 
make this more clear, this rule adopts language in 
Standard No. 208 expressly stating that vehicles with 
readily removable rear seats may use a shoulder belt 
that detaches at the upper anchorage point to meet the 
requirements for an integral rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belt. 

c. Swivel seats. As previously noted, swivel seats and 
other seats that can be adjusted to be forward-facing 
and to face some other direction will be required to 
provide lap/shoulder belts only when in the forward- 
facing position and may provide lap-only belts when 
adjusted to face other directions. The agency had to 
consider the question of what requirements should be 
specified for the detachable shoulder belt. NHTSA 
could have required those belts to be detachable at the 
upper anchorage point, by establishing requirements 
such as were established for readily removable seats. 
However, that would have left the occupant of the 
swivel seat with webbing in his or her lap every time 
the occupant adjusted the seat to some position other 
than forward-facing. The shoulder belt webbing could 
become soiled, so that the occupant of the swivel seat 
not use either the lap belt alone or the belt as a 
lap/shoulder belt. 

To prevent this, NHTSA has decided that seats that 
adjust to be forward-facing and to face in some other 
direction are the only rear outboard seating positions 



PART571;S210-PRE37 



that will not be required to be equipped with integral 
lap/shoulder belts. Instead, those seating positions 
may be equipped with a shoulder belt that is detachable 
at the latchplate. 

However, this rule establishes an additional re- 
quirement that any such non-integral shoulder belt 
portion be equipped with an ELR, so that the shoulder 
belt portion will be available for use by all occupants of 
the seat in its retracted position, and will be less likely 
to become soiled. This will ensure that those occupants 
of adjustable seating positions that want the added 
protection of a lap/shoulder belt in these seating 
positions will have that protection. 

The agency acknowledges that this requirement is 
likely to result in lower shoulder belt use at these 
seating positions than at other rear outboard seating 
positions. However, the agency concludes that belt use 
at these adjustable seating positions would be lower 
still if the agency were to require that the lap/shoulder 
belts be integral and the shoulder belt webbing were in 
the occupant's lap or on the floor of the vehicle. On 
balance, the agency concludes that the interests of 
occupants of adjustable rear seating positions will be 
best served by permitting the shoulder belt portion of 
the lap/shoulder belt system to be detachable at the 
buckle, i.e., non-integral, while including a requirement 
for a shoulder belt retractor so that a lap shoulder belt 
will always be available for those persons. 

7. Comfort and Convenience 

The NPRM stated that compliance with the pro- 
visions in S7.4.2(a), S7.4.3, S7.4.4, and S7.4.5 of 
Standard No. 208 is determined with reference to a test 
dummy for the front seating positions. As noted above, 
there are no dummy positioning procedures for the 
rear seating positions, so the agency cannot determine 
compliance with the comfort and convenience pro- 
visions with reference to a test dummy. Additionally, 
the NPRM announced that the agency has not yet 
developed any alternative surrogate measurements for 
comfort and convenience in rear seating positions. As 
was the case with crash testing requirements discussed 
above, NHTSA did not believe it would be appropriate 
to delay this rulemaking to allow the agency to develop 
a full set of comfort and convenience requirements. 

NHTSA noted that the requirements in S7.4.6 for 
seat belt guides and hardware would apply to rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts without proposing any changes to 
accomplish that. No commenters objected to this 
result, so safety belts installed in compliance with this 
rule are subject to those requirements. 

The remaining issue in this area concerned tension- 
relieving devices on rear-seat lap/shoulder belts. In the 
NPRM, the agency expressed its tenative conclusion 
that the same considerations should apply to rear 



seating positions with tension-relieving devices on 
safety belts as already apply to front seating positions 
with tension-relieving devices on safety belts. That is, 
tension-relieving devices are permitted to be installed 
on front seat safety belts if vehicles that have tension- 
relieving devices at those seating positions comply 
with certain special conditions intended to reduce the 
likelihoodof misuse of tension-relieving devices. Those 
special conditions are set forth in S7.4.2 as follows: 

1. The vehicle owner's manual must include an 
explanation of how the tension-relieving device works 
and recommend a maximum amount of slack that 
should be introduced into the belt under normal 
circumstances (S7. 4.2(b); 

2. The vehicle must comply with the injury criteria 
specified in S5.1 of Standard No. 208 during a barrier 
crash test with the shoulder belt webbing adjusted to 
introduce the maximum amount of slack recommended 
by the manufacturer (S7.4.2(c); 

3. The vehicle must have an automatic means to 
cancel any shoulder belt slack introduced into the belt 
system by a tension-relieving device (S7.4.2(c). 

The NPRM explained that the second requirement 
listed above could not be applied to rear seat lap/shoul- 
der belts, because the agency could not develop dynamic 
testing procedures for the rear seating positions at this 
time. However, the notice proposed to apply the other 
two requirements listed above to rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belts equipped with tension-relieving devices. 

None of the commenters addressed the proposal to 
require the vehicle owner's manual to include an 
explanation of how the tension-relieving device works 
and a recommendation of the maximum amount of 
slack to be introduced into the safety belt. Hence, that 
requirement is adopted as proposed, for the reasons 
explained in the NPRM. 

In its comments, GM objected to the proposed 
requirement for automatic cancellation of slack. GM 
indicated that automatic cancellation of slack in front- 
seat lap/shoulder belts is accomplished by either of 
two means. If the retractor is mounted on the floor or 
on the pillar near the adjacent door, the manufacturer 
generally uses a simple cable, which operates when the 
door is open to cancel the slack. If there are dual spool 
retractors on the safety belt system, a simple mechani- 
cal device triggered by retraction of the lap belt is used 
to cancel the slack in the shoulder belt. According to 
GM, "cable routing concerns" make it difficult to use a 
cable and the current size of dual spool retractors 
precludes the use of that technology in rear seating 
positions. This comment concluded by alleging that 
only "complex, expensive mechanisms" could be used 
for slack cancellation in rear seating positions. Ford 
also suggested in its comments that it would be very 
complex to develop an automatic means for slack 



I 



PART 571; S210-PRE 38 



cancellation. Ford stated that all of its slack cancella- 
tion mechanisms are activated by opening the adjacent 
door. Ford also stated that electric slack cancellation 
mechanisms would be impracticable for rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts. 

In response to these comments, NHTSA has re- 
examined its proposal. That proposal was that slack be 
automatically cancelled either when the belt is un- 
buckled or when the adjacent door is opened. Although 
not expressly stated by either GM or Ford, the manu- 
facturers' concern appears to be that there is «o 
adjacent door for rear seating positions in many of the 
vehicles that will be subject to these requirements. 
The effect of the proposal, then, would be to force 
manufacturers that chose to install tension-relieving 
devices in rear-seat lap 'shoulder belts for passenger 
vans, extended cab pickups, and the like, to cancel the 
slack every time the latchplate is unbuckled, because 
there is no door adjacent to those seating positions. 

The agency did not intend such a result. Instead, the 
agency's intent was to permit the slack to be cancelled 
either every time the latchplate was unbuckled or each 
time the door is opened that is designed to allow the 
occupant of the seating position in question entry and 
egress to and from the seat. Thus, if a passenger van 
has a sliding door on the right side of the vehicle that is 
designed as the means of entry and egress for all rear 
seat passengers, slack for rear seat lap/shoulder belts 
in that van must be cancelled either when that sliding 
door is opened or when the belt latchplate is unbuckled. 
Similarly, if a two-door convertible has tension-reliev- 
ing devices for its rear- seat lap/shoulder belts, slack in 
the rear-seat lap/shoulder belts must be cancelled 
either when the latchplate is unbuckled or when the 
door is opened on the same side of the vehicle as the 
rear outboard seating position. 

This approach will permit manufacturers to use, 
with appropriate modifications, the same slack cancel- 
lation mechanism that is activated by the opening of 
an adjacent door in seating positions that are not 
immediately adjacent to the door. The agency is not 
aware of any reasons why cable routing concerns 
would present any insuperable difficulties for slack 
cancellation for the rear- seat lap/shoulder belt systems 
that are not adjacent to a door. Accordingly, S7.4.2(c) of 
Standard No. 208 has been amended to provide that 
slack must be cancelled automatically either when the 
latchplate is unbuckled or when the door that is 
designed to provide entry and egress for that seating 
position is opened. 

Both Ford and GM also commented that there was 
no safety need for automatic cancellation of slack in 
rear-seat lap/shoulder belts. GM stated that it was not 
aware of any data showing a safety need for automatic 
of slack cancellation. Ford commented that there was 



no possibility of safety belts getting tangled in the door 
when there was no door adjacent to the seating 
position at which the tension-relieving device is in- 
stalled. 

NHTSA has previously explained the safety need for 
automatic slack cancellation in belts equipped with 
tension-relieving devices. Persons interested in re- 
viewing those discussions may examine 50 CFR 14580; 
April 12, 1985 and 54 FR 29047; July 1 1 , 1989. Ford and 
GM did not raise any new arguments that have not 
already been considered and rejected by the agency. 
Accordingly, this rule incorporates a requirement for 
automatic slack cancellation. NHTSA notes that it is 
currently reviewing a petition that asks the agency to 
prohibit tension-relieving devices altogether. 

8. Relationship of This Rule to Standard No. 210 

As noted in the NPRM, section S4.1.1 of Standard 
No. 210 provides that seat belc anchorages for a Type 2 
seat belt assembly (lap/shoulder belt) shall be installed 
for each forward-facing outboard designated seating 
position in passenger cars other than convertibles, and 
for each designated seating position for which a Type 2 
seat belt assembly is required by Standard No. 208 in 
vehicles other than passenger cars. The NPRM pro- 
posed to delete Standard No. 210's exemption for 
convertibles, because the agency was proposing to 
amend Standard No. 208 to require rear-seat lap/ 
shoulder belts in convertibles. Obviously, there would 
be lesser benefits from requiring rear-seat lap/shoulder 
belts in convertibles if those lap/shoulder belts are not 
required to be effectively anchored to the vehicle. No 
commenter objected to this proposal, so it is adopted as 
proposed. 

No amendment is needed to ensure that the rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belts required in other vehicle types 
covered by this rule will be effectively anchored to the 
vehicle. As explained above, the existing language of 
S4.1.1 of Standard No. 210 automatically requires 
anchorages for lap/shoulder belts to be provided at 
seating positions required by Standard No. 208 to have 
lap/shoulder belts. 

9. Timing for Applying These New Requirements 
Some of the requirements specified in this rule apply 

to both the vehicle types addressed exclusively in this 
rule (convertible passenger cars, light trucks, MPVs, 
and small buses) and to the vehicle type previously 
addressed in NHTSA's June 14, 1989 fmal rule (pas- 
senger cars other than convertibles). These require- 
ments include the types of retractors that can be 
installed on rear-seat lap/shoulder belts and special 
performance requirements for tension-relieving devices 
installed on rear seat-lap/shoulder belts. 

The NPRM proposed that these general require- 
ments, as well as the new requirement that rear-seat 



PART 571; S210-PRE 39 



lap/shoulder belts be installed, apply to the vehicle 
types addressed exclusively in this rule for all such 
vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 1991. 
None of the commenters has provided any evidence 
demonstrating that the amount of leadtime would be 
inadequate. Accordingly, the requirements in this rule 
will apply to convertible passenger cars, light trucks, 
MPVs and small buses as of September 1, 1991, as was 
proposed. Earlier compliance is also permitted and 
encouraged. 

With respect to passenger cars, the June 14, 1989 
final rule established certain general requirements 
applicable to cars manufactured on or after September 
1, 1990. These general requirements included a re- 
quirement that rear-seat lap/shoulder belts be integral 
and that the upper anchorage for the rear-seat 
lap/shoulder belt comply with the location require- 
ments of Standard No. 210. The general requirements 
of this rule for rear-seat lap/shoulder belts (retractor 
type and special requirements for tension-relieving 
devices) will apply on or after September 1, 1991, the 
same data as the other requirements mandated by this 
rule take effect. The general requirements of this rule 
will require greater changes, and thus longer leadtime, 
than the general requirements announced in the June 
14, 1989 rule. Accordingly, passenger cars manufac- 
tured on or after September 1, 1991 must comply with 
the retractor type and tension-relieving device require- 
ments set forth in this rule. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 
571.208 is amended as follows: 

S4.1.4 of Standard No. 208 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S4.1.4 Passenger cars manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1989. 

54. 1.4.1 Except as provided in S4. 1.4.2, each pas- 
senger car manufactured on or after September 1 , 1989 
shall comply with the requirements of S4. 1.2.1. Any 
passenger car manufactured on or after September 1, 
1989 and before September 1, 1993 whose driver's 
designated seating position complies with the require- 
ments of S4. 1 .2 .1(a) by means not including any type of 
seat belt and whose right front designated seating 
position is equipped with a manual Type 2 seat belt so 
that the seating position complies with the occupant 
crash protection requirements of S5.1 , with the Type 2 
seat belt assembly adjusted in accordance with S7.4.2, 
shall be counted as a vehicle complying with S4. 1.2.1. 
A vehicle shall not be deemed to be in noncompliance 
with this standard if its manufacturer establishes that 
it did not know in the exercise of due care that such 
vehicle is not in conformity with this standard. 

54.1.4.2 (a) Each passenger car, other than a con- 
vertible, manufactured before December 11, 1989 may 
be equipped with, and each passenger car, other than a 
convertible, manufactured on or after December 11, 



1989 and before September 1, 1990 shall be equipped 
with a Type 2 seat belt assembly at every forward- 
facing rear outboard designated seating position. Type j 
2 seat belt assemblies installed pursuant to this ^ I 
provision shall comply with Standard No. 209 (49 CFR 
571.209) and with S7.1.1 of this standard. 

(b) Except as provided in S4. 1.4. 2.1, each passenger 
car other than a convertible manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1990 and each convertible passenger car 
manufactured on or after September 1, 1991 shall be 
equipped with an integral Type 2 seat belt assembly at 
every lorward-facing rear outboard designated seating 
position. Type 2 seat belt assemblies installed in 
compliance with this requirement shall comply with 
Standard No. 209 (49 CFR 571.209) and with S7.2 and 
S7.2 of this standard. If a Type 2 seat belt assembly 
installed in compliance with this requirement in- 
corporates any webbing tension-relieving device, the 
vehicle owner's manual shall include the information 
specified in S7.4.2(b) of this standard for the tension- 
relieving device, and the vehicle shall comply with 
S7.4.2(c) of this standard. 

54. 1.4.2.1 Any rear outboard designated seating 
position with a seat that can be adjusted to be forward- 
facing and to face some other direction shall either: 

(i) meet the requirements of S4. 1.4.2 with the seat in 
any position in which it can be occupied while the 
vehicle is in motion; or 

(ii) when the seat is in its forward-facing position, 
have a Type 2 seat belt assembly with an upper torso \ 
restraint that conforms to S7.1 and S7.2 of this 
standard and that adjusts by means of an emergency 
locking retractor that conforms with Standard No. 209 
(49 CFR 571.209), which upper torso restraint may be 
detachable at the buckle, and, when the seat is in any 
position in which it can be occupied while the vehicle is 
in motion, have a Type 1 seat belt or the pelvic portion 
of a Type 2 seat belt assembly that conforms to S7.1 
and S7.2 of this standard. 

54.1.4.2.2 Any rear outboard designated seating 
position with a readily removable seat (that is, a seat 
designed to be easily removed and replaced by means 
installed by the manufacturer for that purpose) shall 
meet the requirements of S4. 1.4.2, and may use an 
upper torso belt that detaches at the upper anchorage 
point to meet those requirements. 

3. A new S4.2.4 is added to Standard No. 208, to read 
as follows: 

S4.2.4 Trucks and multipurpose passenger vehicles 
manufactured on or after September 1, 1991 with a 
GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less.. Except as provided in 
S4.2.4.2, each truck and each multipurpose passenger 
vehicle, except a motor home, manufactured on or 
after September 1 , 1991 that has a gross vehicle weight . 
rating of 10,000 pounds or less shall be equipped with 
an integral Type 2 seat belt assembly at every forward- 



PART571;S210-PRE40 



facing rear outboard designated seating position. Type 
2 seat belt assemblies installed in compliance with this 
k requirement shall comply with Standard No. 209 (49 
I CFR 571.209) and with S7.1 and S7.2 of this standard. 
If a Type 2 seat belt assembly installed in compliance 
with this requirement incorporates any webbing 
tension-relieving device, the vehicle owner's manual 
shall include the information specified in S7. 4.2(b) of 
this standard for the tension-relieving device, and the 
vehicle shall comply with S7.4.2(c) of this standard. 

54.2.4.1 As used in this section — 

(a) "Motor home" means a motor vehicle with motive 
power that is designed to provide temporary residential 
accommodations, as evidenced by the presence of at 
least four of the following facilities: cooking; refrigera- 
tion or ice box; self-contained toilet ; heating and/or air 
conditioning; a portable water supply system including 
a faucet and a sink; and a separate 110-125 volt 
electrical power supply and or an LP gas supply. 

(b) "Rear outboard designated seating position" 
means any "outboard designated seating position" (as 
that term is defined at 49 CFR 571.3) that is rearward 
of the front seat(s), except any designated seating 
positions adjacent to a walkway located between the 
seat and the side of the vehicle, which walkway is 
designed to allow access to more rearward seating 
positions. 

54.2.4.2 Any rear outboard designated seating posi- 
I tion with a seat that can be adjusted to be forward- 
facing and to face some other direction shall either: 

(i) meet the requirements of S4.2.4 with the seat in 
any position in which it can be occupied while the 
vehicle is in motion; or 

(ii) when the seat is in its forward-facing position, 
have a Type 2 seat belt assembly with an upper torso 
restraint that conforms to S7.1 and S7.2 of this 
standard and that adjusts by means of an emergency 
locking retractor that conforms with Standard No. 209 
(49 CFR 571.209), which upper torso restraint may be 
detachable at the buckle, and, when the seat is in any 
position in which it can be occupied while the vehicle is 
in motion, have a Type 1 seat belt or the pelvic portion 
of a Type 2 seat belt assembly that conforms to S7.1 
and S7.2 of this standard. 

S4.2.4.3 Any rear outboard designated seating posi- 
tion with a readily removable seat (that is, a seat 
designed to be easily removed and replaced by means 
installed by the manufacturer for that purpose) shall 
meet the requrements of S4.2.4, and may use an upper 
torso belt that detaches at the upper anchorage point to 
meet those requirements. 

4. A new S4.4.3 is added to Standard No. 208, to read 
as follows: 

S4.4 Buses. 



S4.4.3 Buses manufactured on or after September 1, 
1991. 

54.4.3.1 Each bus with a gross vehicle weight 
rating of more than 10,000 pounds shall comply with 
the requirements S4.4.2.1 or 84. 4.2.2. 

54.4.3.2 Except as provided in S4.4.3.2.2, each bus 
with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or 
less, except a school bus, shall be equipped with an 
integral Type 2 seat belt assembly at the driver's 
designated seating position and at the front and every 
rear forward-facing outboard designated seating posi- 
tion, and with a Type 1 or Type2 seat belt assembly at 
all other designated seating positions. Type 2 seat belt 
assemblies installed in compliance with this require- 
ment shall comply with Standard No. 209 (49 CFR 
571.209) and with S7.1 and S7.2 of this standard. If a 
Type 2 seat belt assembly installed in compliance with 
this requirement incorporates any webbing tension- 
relieving device, the vehicle owner's manual shall 
include the information specified in S7. 4.2(b) of this 
standard for the tension-relieving device, and the 
vehicle shall comply with S7.4.2(c) of this standard. 

54. 4. 3.2.1 As used in this section, a "rear outboard 
designated position" means any "outboard designated 
seating position" (as that term is defined at 49 CFR 
571.3) that is rearward of the front seat(s), except any 
designated seating positions adjacent to a walkway 
located between the seat and the side of the vehicle, 
which walkway is designed to allow access to more 
rearward seating positions. 

54.4.3.2.2 Any rear outboard designated seating 
position with a seat that can be adjusted to be forward- 
facing and to face some other direction shall either: 

(i) meet the requirements of S4.4.3.2 with the seat in 
any position in which it can be occupied while the 
vehicle is in motion; or 

(ii) when the seat is in its forward-facing position, 
have a Type 2 seat belt assembly with an upper torso 
restraint that conforms to S7.1 and S7.2 of this 
standard and that adjusts by means of an emergency 
locking retractor that conforms with Standard No. 209 
(49 CFR 571.209), which upper torso restraint may be 
detachable at the buckle, and, when the seat is in any 
position in which it can be occupied while the vehicle is 
in motion, have a Type 1 seat belt or the pelvic portion 
of a Type 2 seat belt assembly that conforms to S7.1 
and S7.2 of this standard. 

54.4.3.2.3 Any rear outboard designated seating 
position with a readily removable seat (that is, a seat 
designed to be easily removed and replaced by means 
installed by the manufacturer for that purpose) shall 
meet the requirements of S4. 4.3.2, and may use an 
upper torso belt that detaches at the upper anchorage 
point to meet those requirements. 



PART571;S210-PRE41 



S4.4.3.3 Each school bus with a gross vehicle 
weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less shall be equipped 
with an integral Type 2 seat belt assembly at the 
driver's designated seating position and at the right 
front passenger's designated seating position (if any), 
and with a Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly at all 
other designated seating positions. Type 2 seat belt 
assemblies installed in compliance with this require- 
ment shall comply with Standard No. 209 (49 CFR 
571.209) and with S7.1 and S7.2 of this standard. The 
lap belt portion of a Type 2 seat belt assembly installed 
at the driver's designated seating position and at the 
right front passenger's designated seating position (if 
any) shall include either an emergency locking retractor 
or an automatic locking retractor, which retractor 
shall not retract webbing to the next locking position 
until at least 3/4 inch of webbing has moved into the 
retractor. In determining whether an automatic locking 
retractor complies with this requirement, the webbing 
is extended to 75 percent of its length and the retractor 
is locked after the initial adjustment. If a Type 2 seat 
belt assembly installed in compliance with this require- 
ment incorporates any webbing tension-relieving 
device, the vehicle owner's manual shall include the 
information specified in S7.4.2(b) of this standard for 
the tension-relieving device, and the vehicle shall 
comply with S7. 4.2(c) of this standard. 

5. S7.1.1 of Standard No 208 is amended by revising 
S7. 1.1.3 and by adding a new S7.1.1.5, to read as 
follows: 

S7.1 Adjustment. 

***** 

S7. 1.1.3 A Type 1 lap belt or the lap belt portion of 
any Type 2 seat belt assembly installed at any out- 
board designated seating position of a vehicle with a 
gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less to 
comply with a requirement of ths standard, except 
walk-in van-type vehicles and school buses, shall meet 
the requirements of S7.1 by means of any emergency 
locking retractor that conforms to Standard No. 209 

(49 CFR 571.209). 

***** 

S7.1.1.5 Seat belt assemblies installed at a seating 
position other than the driver's position that incor- 
porate an emergency locking retractor in the lap belt or 
the lap belt portion of a Type 2 seat belt assembly shall 
provide some means other than an external device that 
requires manual attachment or activation to lock the 
lap belt or lap belt portion, by preventing additional 
webbing from spooling out, so that the seat belt 
assembly can be used to tightly secure a child restraint 
system. 

6. S7.4.2 of Standard No. 208 is amended by revising 
the introductory text and S7.4.2(c), to read as follows: 

S7.4.2 Webbing tension-relieving device. Each vehicle 
with an automatic seat belt assembly or with a Type 2 



manual seat belt assembly that must meet the occupant 
crash protection requirements of S5.1 of this standard 
installed at a front outboard designated seating posi- 
tion, and each vehicle with a Type 2 manual seat belt 
assembly installed at a rear outboard designated 
seating position in compliance with a requirement of 
this standard, that has either automatic or manual 
tension-relieving devices permitting the introduction 
of slack in the webbing of the shoulder belt (e.g., 

"comfort clips" or "window-shade" devices) shall: 

***** 

(c) Have, except for open-body vehicles with no 
doors, and automatic means to cancel any shoulder 
belt slack introduced into the belt system by a tension- 
relieving device. In the case of an automatic safety belt 
system, cancellation of the tension-relieving device 
shall occur each time the adjacent vehicle door is 
opened. In the case of a manual seat belt required to 
meet S5.1, cancellation of the tension-relieving device 
shall occur, at the manufacturer's option, either each 
time the adjacent door is opened or each time the 
latchplate is released from the buckle. In the case of a 
Type 2 manual seat belt assembly installed at a rear 
outboard designated seating position, cancellation of 
the tension-relieving device shall occur, at the manu- 
facturer's option either each time the door designed to 
to allow the occupant of that seating position entry and 
egress of the vehicle is opened or each time the 
latchplate is released from the buckle. In the case of 
open-body vehicles with no doors, cancellation of the 
tension-relieving device may be done by a manual 
means. 
§571.210 (Amended! 

7. S4.1.1 of Standard No. 210 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S4.1.1 Seat belt anchorages for a Type 2 seat belt 
assembly shall be installed for each forward-facing 
outboard designated seating position in passenger cars 
other than convertibles and for each designated seating 
position for which a Type 2 seat belt assembly is 
required by Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 571.208) in 
vehicles other than passenger cars. Seat belt anchor- 
ages for a Type 2 seat belt assembly shall be installed 
for each rear forward-facing outboard designated 
seating position in convertible passenger cars man- 
ufactured on or after September 1, 1991. 
§571.222 [Amended] 

8. S5(b) of Standard No. 222 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5. Requirements, (a) * * * 

(b) Each vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 

10,000 pounds or less shall be capable of meeting the 

following requirements at all seating positions other 

than the driver's seat: 
(1)(A) In the case of vehicles manufactured before 

September 1, 1991, the requirements of §§571.208, 



PART 571; S210-PRE 42 



I 



571.209, and 571.210 as they apply to multipurpose 
passenger vehicles; or 

(B) In the case of vehicles manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1991, the requirements of S4.4.3.3. of 
§571.208 and the requirementsof §§571.209 and 571.210 
as they apply to school buses with a gross vehicle 
weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less; and 

(2) The requirementsof S5.1.2,S5. 1.3, S5.1.4,S5. 1.5, 
and S5.3 of this standard. However, the requirements 
of §§571.208 and 571.210 shall be met at W seating 
positions in a bench seat using a body block as specified 
in Figure 2 of this standard, and a particular school bus 
passenger seat (i.e., a test specimen) in that weight 
class need not meet further requirements after having 



met S5. 1 .2 and S5. 1 .5, or after having been subjected to 
either S5.1.3, S5.1.4, or S5.3 of this standard or 

§571.210. 

***** 

Issued on: October 27, 1989. 



Jeffrey R. Miller 
Acting Administrator 



54 F.R. 46257 
November 2, 1989 



) 



h 



PART 571; S210-PRE 43-44 



( 



k 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 
SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 

Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages 

(Docket Nc. 87-02; Notice 2) 

RIN 2127-AA95 



ACTION: Final rule. 



SUMMARY: This rule makes several amendments to 
the safety standard regulating seat belt assembly 
anchorages. Specifically, this rule: 

1. Increases the minimum lap belt angle to reduce 
the likelihood of occupant submarining in a crash 
(i.e., the occupant sliding forward and under the 
safety belt in a crash); 

2. Exempts front outboard designated seating po- 
sitions equipped with automatic safety belts or dy- 
namically tested manual safety belts from the re- 
quirement that those positions also be equipped 
with anchorages for manual lap/shoulder belts. This 
exemption will remove an unnecessary and redun- 
dant regulatory requirement without reducing occu- 
pant safety; 

3. Permits the optional use of some new test 
equipment for compliance testing to make the com- 
pliance tests simpler and less costly to perform; and 

4. Clarifies some ambiguities in the current com- 
pliance testing procedures so that all parties will 
know precisely how compliance testing will be con- 
ducted by the agency. 

EFFECTIVE DATES: The amendments made in this 
rule are effective as of September 1, 1992, except for 
the amendment to S4.1.3, which takes effect April 
30, 1990. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly 
Anchorages (49 CFR §571.210) sets forth perform- 
ance requirements for safety belt anchorages to 
ensure their proper location for effective occupant 
protection and to reduce the likelihood of the anchor- 
age's failure in a crash. The requirements of the 
standard that applies to passenger cars, trucks, 
buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles estab- 
lish zones within the vehicle where an anchorage 
must be located and the forces that an anchorage 
must be capable of withstanding during a static 
-trength test. 

BL Technology, Ltd., General Motors, and 
Mercedes-Benz each petitioned the agency to amend 



different aspects of Standard No. 210. Additionally, 
NHTSA's experience conducting its compliance test- 
ing under Standard No. 210 indicated a need to 
modify or clarify some aspects of the standard. 
Accordingly, the agency published a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking (NPRM) on February 3, 1987 (52 
FR 3293). 

NHTSA received 28 comments in response to this 
NPRM. All of these comments were considered while 
formulating this final rule, and the most significant 
comments are addressed below. This preamble uses 
the same organization as the NPRM's preamble, to 
aid the reader in comparing the two documents. 

L Anchorage Strength Test Procedures 
Standard No. 210 uses a laboratory test instead of 
a crash test to measure the strength of safety belt 
anchorages. In a laboratory, or "static" test, forces 
are slowly applied to the anchorages for a period of 
up to 30 seconds. In a crash, or "dynamic" test, 
forces are quickly applied and last for less than a 
second. Standard No. 210 currently specifies the 
minimum loads that the anchorage must withstand 
in a laboratory test, the maximum rate of increase in 
applying that load to the anchorage, and a minimum 
period of ten seconds during which the anchorage 
must withstand the specified load. 

BL Technology, Ltd. (BL) filed a petition asking 
the agency to amend Standard No. 210 to harmonize 
the anchorage strength test procedure with the 
Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Regulation 
No. 14 on safety belt anchorages. The ECE regula- 
tion uses a non-crash static or quasi-dynamic test 
procedure to evaluate the strength of the anchorage. 
Although the ECE regulation requires anchorages 
to be subjected to virtually the identical load as does 
Standard No. 210, the ECE regulation specifies a 
load application rate of "as fast as possible" for the 
anchorages and a much shorter period during which 
the anchorage must withstand the load. BL argued 
that adopting the ECE test procedure would reduce 
vehicle weight and cost. More specifically, BL said 
that additional welds and reinforcing brackets are 



PART 571; S210-PRE 45 



necessary on a vehicle to allow its anchorages to 
withstand the 10-second load duration of Standard 
No. 210, but such structural reinforcement is not 
required to meet the 0.2-second load duration of ECE 
Regulation No. 14. BL also argued that the static 
test procedure of Standard No. 210 is not represen- 
tative of real world crash conditions. 

In response to this petition, the agency acknowl- 
edged in the NPRM that the static test procedure of 
Standard No. 210 imposes a load for a longer period 
of time on an anchorage than is imposed in a real 
crash or a crash test. The agency also acknowledged 
in the NPRM that metal structures can withstand 
greater forces under dynamic loading than under 
static loading. This means that an anchorage that 
fails at a given force level under the static loading 
conditions of Standard No. 210 would not necessarily 
fail if exposed to that same force level under dynamic 
loading conditions. To this extent, then, NHTSA 
agrees with BL's assertion that Standard No. 210's 
test procedure is not representative of actual 
crashes. 

However, NHTSA was concerned that a potential 
reduction in safety could result from adopting BL's 
request to harmonize Standard No. 210's anchorage 
requirements with those of ECE Regulation No. 14. 
Because metals can withstand larger force levels 
under dynamic loading than under static loading, a 
decision to retain the same force levels but shift from 
static loading to dynamic loading would allow the 
use of metals of lesser strength for the anchorage. 
However, this possibility could be avoided if such a 
decision were accompanied by a decision to increase 
the ultimate test load and anchorage is required to 
withstand or to require the safety belt/anchorage 
system to meet other occupant crash protection 
requirements. To more fully explore this topic, the 
NPRM solicited comments on three possible changes 
to the anchorage strength requirements. The agency 
stated in the NPRM that, based on its evaluation of 
the comments received on the NPRM and on its 
continuing assessment of test data from the New Car 
Assessment Program (NCAP) and other crash tests, 
NHTSA would determine whether changes in the 
anchorage test procedures or anchorage load re- 
quirements were appropriate or necessary. 

A. Exclusion of Anchorages for Dynamically Tested 
Manual Belt Assemblies from the Strength 
Requirements 
In comments on other rulemaking actions ad- 
dressing the dynamic testing of manual belt assem- 
blies, a number of vehicle manufacturers had re- 
quested that the anchorages for dynamically tested 
manual safety belt assemblies be excluded from the 
sti'ength requirements of Standard No. 210. These 
manufacturers argued that requiring a safety belt 



system to meet the injury criteria of Standard No. 
208 measured on test dummies in a crash test is 
sufficient assurance that vehicle occupants will be ^ 
adequately protected in a real-world crash. In the W 
NPRM, NHTSA sought comments on whether this ~ 
argument was persuasive, or whether the strength 
requirements ought to be retained to assure ade- 
quate protection for occupants larger than the 50th 
percentile adult male (the size of the test dummy 
used in crash testing) or to assure adequate protec- 
tion after the anchorage is exposed to corrosion or 
other forms of potential anchorage weakening over 
the vehicle's life. 

In response to this request for comments, nine 
commenters (Volvo, Austin, Chrysler, Ford, GM, 
Fiat, Toyota, Mazda, and the Motor Vehicle Manu- 
facturers Association) stated that anchorages for 
dynamically tested belt assemblies should be ex- 
cluded from Standard No. 210's strength require- 
ments. Mercedes-Benz commented that anchorages 
for dynamically tested belt assemblies should not be 
excluded from Standard No. 210's strength require- 
ments. According to this comment, the strength 
requirements for anchorages of dynamically tested 
safety belt assemblies help assure effective protec- 
tion for occupants in crashes with impact speeds 
greater than 30 mph and occupants whose properties 
exceed those of the 50th percentile adult male. 

After reconsidering this issue, the agency has / 
decided to maintain the current requirement that \ 
the anchorages for dynamically tested safety belts 
are subject to the anchorage strength requirements 
of Standard No. 210. First, NHTSA believes that the 
strength requirements help assure that the safety 
belt assembly and anchorage will afford effective 
protection under conditions more severe than those 
for dynamic testing (i.e., occupants larger than 50th 
percentile adult male, crash speed greater than 30 
mph, etc.). Mercedes concurred with this judgment 
in its comments. On the other hand, none of the 
commenters that supported an exclusion from the 
strength requirements for dynamically tested man- 
ual belts addressed the need for occupant protection 
under conditions more severe than those encoun- 
tered in the dynamic testing. 

Second, the agency believes that the requirements 
for dynamically tested manual and automatic safety 
belts should be consistent, at least insofar as the 
dynamic testing common to both types of safety belts 
is the basis for the requirement. NHTSA has ex- 
pressly and consistently stated for more than 10 
years that anchorages for automatic safety belts are 
not excluded from the strength requirements of 
Standard No. 210. See the agency's July 26, 1978 ^ 
interpretation letter to Mr. Toko linuma and the B 
July 23, 1980 letter to Mr. M. Ogata. Since the ^ 
agency has not found the dynamic testing of auto- 



PART 571; S210-PRE 46 



matic belts to be a sufficient justification for exclud- 
ing automatic belt anchorages from the strength 
requirements of Standard No. 210, it would be incon- 
sistent for the agency to now conclude that the same 
dynamic testing is a sufficient justification for ex- 
cluding the anchorages for manual safety belts from 
the strength requirements of Standard No. 210. 

Third, the agency continues to believe that a 
margin of safety in anchorage strength is a reason- 
able surrogate for corrosion or other forms of poten- 
tial anchorage weakening that might be encoun- 
tered over a vehicle's life. General Motors (GM) took 
issue with this hypothesis in its comments, stating 
that "the likelihood of a correlation between the 
results of Standard No. 210 anchorage strength 
testing and the potential for anchorage weakening is 
remote." However, GM conceded that it had no data 
to refute this position. NHTSA did not intend to 
suggest that anchorages that were stronger when 
new would be less likely to weaken while in service. 
However, NHTSA is unaware of, and no commenter 
tried to offer, any reason why an anchorage with a 
higher nominal strength than another anchorage 
when new would not retain a relative strength 
advantage over the weaker anchorage when both are 
degraded by factors, such as stress or corrosion, to 
which anchorages may be exposed while a vehicle is 
in service. 

B. Harmonization with ECE 
The NPRM requested comments on revising the 
strength test of Standard No. 210 to be similar to the 
requirements of ECE Regulation No. 14. Both Reg- 
ulation No. 14, and the newer ECE Regulation 14.02, 
specify anchorage strength requirements, and re- 
quire an anchorage to be subjected to a load nearly 
identical to that currently specified in Standard No. 
210 (3,035 pounds for shoulder belt in ECE vs. 3,000 
pounds in Standard No. 210, and 5,002 pounds for lap 
belt in ECE vs. 5,000 pounds in Standard No. 210). 
However, the ECE regulations specify that the load 
be held for 0.2 seconds, as opposed to the 10 second 
load hold currently specified by Standard No. 210, 
and that the load be applied "as rapidly as possible," 
as opposed to the provisions in Standard No. 210 that 
the load be attained in as little time as possible but 
in not more than 30 seconds. Since the ECE require- 
ment that the load be applied "as rapidly as possi- 
ble" would not satisfy the requirement in the Na- 
tional Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act that each 
safety standard "be stated in objective terms," 
NHTSA requested comments on retaining the max- 
imum force onset rates currently specified in Stan- 
dard No. 210 (50,000 pounds per second for lap belts 
and 30,000 pounds per second for lap/shoulder belts), 
and that the specified force levels be attained in not 



more than 5 seconds, compared with the 30 seconds 
currently specified in Standard No. 210. 

Many commenters supported these proposed 
changes, arguing that these periods for attaining 
and holding the required loads would be more rep- 
resentative of real world crash situations. Addition- 
ally, some of those commenters stated that they have 
never seen a single anchorage failure on vehicles 
with anchorages certified to the ECE requirements. 
While nearly ail commenters agreed with the pro- 
posal to shorten the time for which the load must be 
held by the anchorage to 0.2 seconds. Ford, GM, and 
Jaguar suggested that the 5-second period proposed 
for attaining the specified load be further shortened. 
Ford commented that the proposed 5-second period 
in which to attain the load should be shortened to 
harmonize with the ECE "as rapidly as possible" 
requirement. GM commented that the 5-second 
period in which to attain the specified load would be 
unrepresentative of loading in crashes, and stated 
that it appears to be practicable with newer testing 
equipment to attain the specified load in 1.0 second. 
Jaguar commented that some newer test equipment 
can apply the specified load in less than 0.3 seconds, 
and suggested that the rule should be amended to 
require the specified loading to be attained in not 
more than 0.3 seconds. Mitsubishi, on the other 
hand, supported the proposal to lower to 0.2 seconds 
the time the anchorage must hold the specified load, 
but objected to the proposal that the specified load- 
ing be attained in 5 seconds. According to this 
commenter, the proposal to require the specified load 
to be attained in 5 seconds would necessitate either 
extensive modifications of existing testing equip- 
ment or the purchase and installation of new testing 
equipment. 

NHTSA has carefully reconsidered this subject 
after reviewing these comments. Safety require- 
ments can evaluate the performance of safety equip- 
ment by following two general approaches. These 
approaches are as follows: 

1. The safety requirements can evaluate perform- 
ance by providing for test conditions that simulate 
actual crash conditions. The advantage of this ap- 
proach is that it permits an evaluation of the occu- 
pant protection capabilities of all the systems in a 
vehicle in a single test. To the extent that those 
systems work synergistically, that synergism will be 
reflected in the test. Examples of safety standards 
that use test conditions that simulate an actual 
vehicle crash are Standard No. 208, Occupant Crash 
Protection, and Standard No. 301, Fuel System Integ- 
rity. It is obviously imperative that test conditions in 
these and other safety standards intended to simu- 
late crash conditions actually do so. 

2. Alternatively, however, safety requirements can 
evaluate the performance of vehicle safety equip- 



PART 571; S210-PRE 47 



ment by providing for test conditions that are struc- 
tured to ensure that the safety equipment will 
perform adequately in actual crash conditions with- 
out simulating those conditions. Test conditions that 
do not simulate actual crash conditions are devel- 
oped generally where it would be infeasible or too 
costly to design and/or implement any single test 
procedure or series of test procedures that reason- 
ably simulate the conditions to which the safety 
equipment will be exposed, including possible crash 
conditions and possible degradation over time be- 
cause of exposure to environmental factors. Exam- 
ples of safety standards that use test conditions not 
intended to simulate an actual vehicle crash are 
Standard No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies, and Stan- 
dard No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages. 

The test conditions specified in this latter type of 
safety requirement are intended to subject the vehi- 
cle safety equipment to force or exposure levels that 
are sufficiently high so that one can reasonably 
conclude that the equipment is unlikely to fail as a 
result of exposure to even severe crash conditions or 
environmental exposures. Such test conditions are 
necessarily more severe than typical crash condi- 
tions, to ensure a margin of safety in the standard. 
That is, even if the test conditions were not directly 
representative of actual crash conditions, the test 
conditions are so demanding that one can confi- 
dently predict that equipment that withstands the 
test conditions will withstand most crash conditions, 
even severe crash conditions. 

Hence, it is not a telling point to assert that the 
loading conditions for the anchorage strength test in 
Standard No. 210 do not simulate actual crashes. 
These test conditions admittedly do not simulate 
actual crashes, nor are they intended to do so. 

Neither the current Standard No. 210 anchorage 
strength test procedures nor the ECE Regulation No. 
14 anchorage strength test procedures is a close 
simulation of actual crash conditions. From sled 
tests, NHTSA has observed that total loading time 
for safety belts (including the onset of loading, 
holding the maximum load, and the release of the 
loading) ranges from about 0.10 to 0.15 seconds. The 
observed durations for holding the maximum load 
were generally less than 0.005 seconds. These time 
periods should be compared with the 30 second 
period permitted to attain the load and the 10 second 
period for holding the maximum load specified in 
Standard No. 210, and the provisions in the ECE 
regulation for attaining the load and holding the 
load for 0.2 seconds. 

Both the load onset (up to 30 seconds) and the load 
holding times (10 seconds) currently specified in 
Standard No. 210 are admittedly orders of magni- 
tude greater than the corresponding time periods 
observed in crashes (not more than 0.15 seconds and 



less than 0.005 seconds, respectively). However, the 
load onset ("as rapidly as possible," which was said 
by a commenter to be as little as 0.3 seconds) and 
load holding (0.2 seconds) times needed for testing m 
for compliance with the ECE regulation are also ™ 
substantially greater than the corresponding peri- 
ods observed in crashes. Thus, neither the anchorage 
strength test in Standard No. 210 nor the anchorage 
strength test in the ECE regulation is an accurate 
simulation of actual crash conditions. Instead, both 
of these anchorage strength tests represent test 
conditions intended to be sufficiently demanding to 
ensure that the anchorage will not fail even under 
the most severe crash conditions. 

As noted in the NPRM and by many of the 
commenters, the anchorage strength test in the ECE 
regulation is less stringent than the anchorage 
strength test in Standard No. 210. Adopting the ECE 
regulation could allow some slight reduction in 
vehicle weight and costs for the manufacturer by 
permitting the manufacturer to omit the additional 
welds and reinforcing brackets that BL's petition 
stated are necessary to comply with Standard No. 
210, but unnecessary to comply with the ECE regu- 
lation. Conversely, the agency has no way of confirm- 
ing with a reasonable degree of confidence that there 
have been no anchorage failures in actual crashes of 
vehicles certified as complying with the ECE regula- 
tion. Thus, the "margin of safety" provided by the ECE 
regulation can neither be confirmed nor denied. i 

In addition, NHTSA continues to observe shoulder > 
belt loads in its New Car Assessment Program 
(NCAP) tests in excess of the 3,000-pound load to 
which the shoulder belts are subjected in Standard 
No. 210 compliance testing. The significance of this 
is that anchorages will be exposed to higher force 
levels in some real world crashes than in the com- 
pliance testing. To help compensate for this, the 
compliance testing may either be revised to specify 
higher force levels or the compliance testing may 
specify that anchorages shall be subjected to its 
loads for a longer duration. Standard No. 210's 
anchorage strength test currently uses this latter 
approach. 

In its comments, Mercedes stated that it had not 
seen belt loads as high as those recorded in the 
agency's NCAP test data. Mercedes hypothesized 
that the technique used for measuring the belt loads 
in NCAP tests may produce spurious data. To inves- 
tigate whether such potential error existed in the 
NCAP test data, NHTSA retrieved and analyzed the 
digitized shoulder belt transducer signals from three 
different automobiles in which shoulder belt loads in 
excess of 3,000 pounds were recorded. These three 
cars were a 1981 Toyota Cressida, a 1984 Ford ^ 
Mustang, and a 1986 Oldsmobile Toronado. The ^ 
shoulder belt loads recorded for the driver ar-^ 



PART 571; S210-PRE 48 



passenger shoulder belts were plotted as a function 
of force versus time. If the shoulder belt loads were 
the result of spurious signals being recorded, that 
^ would be expected to show up as inconsistencies 
W between the graphs plotted for the passenger and 
driver positions in the same vehicle. However, no 
such inconsistencies were shown on these data 
graphs. Therefore, the agency has no evidence to 
support Mercedes' hypothesis that the NCAP data 
are unreliable. To the contrary, NHTSA's reexamina- 
tion of the NCAP data leads to the conclusions that 
the data on belt loads in 35 mile per hour crash tests 
with 50th percentile male dummies are properly 
measured and recorded, and that some of the belt 
loads observed in those tests exceed the 3,000 pound 
forces to which lap/shoulder belt anchorages are 
subjected during the compliance testing for Stan- 
dard No. 210. 

NHTSA has decided not to reduce the "margin of 
safety" currently required for anchorage strength, 
even to the ECE level. The current anchorage 
strength test effectively requires vehicle manufac- 
turers to use additional reinforcements at the an- 
chorage points, as compared with what is needed to 
satisfy the anchorage strength test in the ECE 
regulation. There is no question that these addi- 
tional reinforcements are feasible and practicable, 
since manufacturers have been doing so for more 
than 20 years. The agency has considered whether 
m the costs and other burdens associated with these 
W reinforcements are excessive in relation to the ben- 
efits resulting from these reinforcements. NHTSA 
estimates that the additional reinforcement typi- 
cally adds about 4 to 8 ounces of steel at a cost of 
approximately one dollar per vehicle. Although 
NHTSA cannot quantify the safety benefits or the 
actual margin of safety attributable to the addi- 
tional reinforcements, the agency believes it would 
be inappropriate to potentially reduce the safety 
protection afforded to vehicle occupants to achieve 
such minimal cost savings. Thus, this rule does not 
make any change to the load onset or load holding 
times for the anchorage strength test in Standard 
No. 210. 

1. Harmonization of Lap Belt Mounting Angles 
Standard No. 210 currently includes a minimum 
md maximum mounting angle for lap-only safety 
belts and for the lap belt portion of lap/shoulder 
belts. The minimum mounting angle requirement 
reduces the possibility of occupant submarining. 
Occupant submarining occurs when an occupant 

1 si ides forward and under the safety belt during a 
crash. The possibility of occupant submarining in- 
Ji creases as the belt angle approaches the horizontal, 
" that is, as the measured belt angle with the horizon- 
al decreases. The potential hazard of submarining 



is that occupants may suffer abdominal injuries as 
they slide under their belts. 

Standard No. 210 currently specifies a minimum 
lap belt angle of 20 degrees above the horizontal, 
measured from the seating reference point to either 
the anchorage or the point where the safety belt 
contacts the seat frame. The ECE regulation speci- 
fies a minimum lap belt angle of 30 degrees. Since 
the ECE 30 degree minimum would enhance safety, 
by reducing the risk of occupant submarining, the 
NPRM proposed to adopt a 30 degree minimum in 
Standard No. 210. 

Four of the commenters supported the proposal to 
require a minimum lap belt angle of 30 degiees. 
These four were Chrysler, Volvo, Volkswagen, and 
BMW. On the other hand, twelve commenters (Mit- 
subishi, Honda, Austin Rover, Fiat, Ford, Hino, GM, 
Toyota, Jaguar, Nissan, Mazda, and Subaru) opposed 
this proposed change for several reasons. GM com- 
mented that "the interrelationship of factors that 
can contribute to occupant submarining in vehicle 
crashes is not fully understood." Both Ford and Hino 
commented that occupant submarining depends on 
factors other than belt angle. 

NHTSA agrees with Ford and Hino that factors 
other than belt angle, including characteristics of 
the safety belt webbing, the seat, the occupant, and 
the type and direction of the crash itself, affect the 
likelihood of occupant submarining. NHTSA also 
agi-ees with GM that the interrelationship of these 
factors is not fully understood. However, even though 
other factors can affect the likelihood of occupant 
submarining and even though the interrelationship 
of these factors is not yet quantified, the available 
data show that increasing the minimum lap belt 
angle will decrease the likelihood of occupant sub- 
marining. If all of the other factors that influence 
submarining are held constant and only the angle of 
the lap belt is changed, the angle of the lap belt in 
relation to the constraining forces will greatly affect 
the likelihood that the belt will ride over the iliac 
crest (the pelvic bone) in a crash. Too shallow a belt 
angle results in insufiicient downward force to resist 
the upward motion of the lap belt that results from 
restraining an occupant in any crash. Since an 
increase in the minimum lap belt angle from 20 to 
30 degrees would reduce the likelihood of occupant 
submarining, and thereby enhance occupant safety, 
the fact that other factors might also enhance occu- 
pant safety does not seem a compelling reason for 
not requiring an increase in the minimum lap belt 
angle. 

A number of commenters stated that the ECE 
regulation requires a minimum lap belt angle of 30 
degrees only in passenger cars, and even for those 
vehicles only in the front seats. Otherwise, the ECE 
regulation specifies a minimum lap belt angle of 20 



PART 571; S210-PRE 49 



degi'ees. These commenters suggested that NHTSA 
should harmonize precisely with the ECE regulation 
if this rulemaking was to achieve its stated intent. 

NHTSA's intent in this and all of its other efforts 
to harmonize this agency's regulations with those of 
other nations is to eliminate needless differences 
between international regulatory requirements ap- 
plicable to vehicles. However, differences that reflect 
differing conclusions about the safety need for par- 
ticular regulatory requirements are not what 
NHTSA considers to be needless differences. 

In this case, NHTSA believes that the available 
data suggest the desirability of establishing a min- 
imum lap belt angle of 30 degrees for all seating 
positions, irrespective of the fact that ECE specifies 
a minimum 30 degi-ee lap belt angle only for front 
seats in passenger cars. NHTSA test data have 
shown that the occurrence of occupant submarining 
is diminished as the lap belt angle is increased. 
("Rear Seat Submarining Investigation," DOT HS 
807-347, May 1988). Conversely, none of the avail- 
able data suggest that, all other factors being held 
constant, the likelihood of occupant submarining in 
i-esponse to a shallow belt angle is any less for rear 
seat than front seat occupants. To the contrary, the 
lower pelvis-to-heel position of many rear seat occu- 
pants may increase the chance of submarining. The 
agency does not understand the commenters to be 
making such an assertion. Instead, NHTSA under- 
stands the commenters to be suggesting that the 
other factors that affect the likelihood of occupant 
submarining are not constant between the front and 
rear seat of vehicles. Because adjustments to the 
other factors can be made to compensate for the 
lesser lap belt angle, the commenters appear to be 
suggesting that the likelihood of occupant submarin- 
ing in the rear seat with a lesser lap belt angle with 
compensating adjustments to other factors is no 
more than the likelihood of occupant submarining in 
the front seat with a greater lap belt angle and no 
compensating adjustments to other factors. 

Even if this suggestion were correct and adjust- 
ments could be made to counteract the effects of a 
lap belt angle less than 30 degrees in the rear seat, 
NHTSA does not believe this is a persuasive reason 
to permit a lesser lap belt angle in rear seating 
positions. In such situations, the likelihood of occu- 
pant submarining could be even further reduced by 
increasing the lap belt angle to 30 degi-ees or more in 
those rear seats together with the compensating 
changes to other factors identified by the vehicle 
manufacturer Since occupant submarining can re- 
sult in abdominal injuries for belt users, NHTSA 
believes it is appropriate to take measures to reduce 
the likelihood of occupant submarining as much as 



possible. Therefore, this rule specifies a minimum 
lap belt angle of 30 degrees in all seating positions. 

The maximum lap belt mounting angle require- 
ment in Standard No. 210 affects the forward excur- m 
sion of an occupant in a crash. The probability of ' 
forward excursion increases as the belt angle ap- 
proaches the vertical (i.e., as the belt angle in- 
creases) because the safety belt will rotate about the 
anchorage before it begins to resist the crash forces. 
The likelihood of occupant contact with vehicle sur- 
faces, and, therefore, the likelihood of occupant in- 
jury, increases as the amount of occupant excursion 
increases. 

Standard No. 210 currently specifies a maximum 
lap belt angle of 75 degrees, measured from the 
seating reference point to either the anchorage or 
the point where the safety belt contacts the seat 
frame. The ECE regulation permits a maximum lap 
belt angle of 80 degrees. The NPRM asked for 
accident and test data on whether increasing the 
maximum lap belt angle to 80 degrees would signif- 
icantly increase the forward excursion of belt users. 
No commenter offered any data in response to this 
request. Chrysler commented that it had no data on 
this subject, but that its earlier testing experience 
showed that occupant excursion may increase with 
an increase in belt angle. Nevertheless, Chrysler 
stated that it supported an increase in the maximum 
lap belt angle to 80 degrees. At least five other a 
commenters suggested that NHTSA should adopt I 
the ECE maximum lap belt angle of 80 degrees, in 
order to further harmonization. 

Harmonization should not result in any lessening 
of safety protection for vehicles sold in the United 
States. In this case, all of the available data indicate 
that occupant excursion increases as the maximum 
lap belt angle increases. Hence, a maximum lap belt 
angle of 75 degrees, instead of 80 degrees, reduces 
the likelihood of adult occupant excursion and in- 
jury. Additionally, a paper prepared for the Society of 
Automotive Engineers concluded that child safety 
seats have a gi'eater propensity for excursion than do 
adult belt users, and that a shallower lap belt angle 
is needed to ensure protection for occupants of child 
safety safety seats; see Weber and Radovich, "Per- 
formance Evaluation of Child Restraints Relative to 
Vehicle Lap-Belt Anchorage Location," SAE 870324. 
Based on a series of 30 mile per hour (mph) sled 
tests, the Weber and Radovich paper reports that the 
amount of head excursion for the test dummy in a 
child safety seat had almost a linear increase with 
the increase of the lap belt angle. Against this 
background, NHTSA has no basis for any further 
consideration of increasing the maximum lap belt 
angle from the currently specified 75 degrees. i 

In summary, the lap belt angle should be opti- ' ' 
mized below the upper excursion limit of 75 degi-ees 



PART 571; S210-PRE 50 



and above the lower submarining limit of 30 degrees. 
The data available to the agency indicate that lap 
belts designed with angles within this range should 
mitigate both of these potential problems. Require- 
ments for lap belt angles to be greater than 30 
degrees or less than 75 degrees are outside the scope 
of this rulemaking. Should additional information 
become available on this subject, the agency may 
readdress this subject in a future rulemaking. 

2. Anchorage Deformation Limits 
While structural deformation of the area around 
an anchorage can aid in occupant protection by 
absorbing part of the crash energy, excessive defor- 
mation can allow excessive occupant excursion, 
which would allow a belt user to move forward and 
contact the vehicle's interior. The only limitation on 
anchorage deformation currently specified in Stan- 
dard No. 210 is that the anchorage must not com- 
pletely separate from the vehicle structure. Any- 
thing short of complete separation is permissible. 
ECE Regulation No. 14, on the other hand, limits 
the permissible deformation of an anchorage during 
testing. During the test prescribed in ECE Regula- 
tion No. 14, the lap belt anchorages must continue to 
meet the minimum lateral spacing requirement of 
the regulation and the upper anchorage for the 
shoulder belt must remain within the zone specified 
in the regulation. The agency asked for comments on 
adopting a similar approach in Standard No. 210. 

The idea of limiting the permissible anchorage 
deformation that occurs during compliance testing 
was necessarily linked with the proposal to modify 
the current anchorage strength test specified in 
Standard No. 210, so that the strength test would 
attain and impose the load in a manner more repre- 
sentative of actual crash loading. If the loading 
could be imposed on the anchorage in a way that 
more closely simulated an actual vehicle crash, 
limits on the deformation of the anchorage could 
serve a safety purpose, by helping to ensure that 
safety belt users would not experience excessive 
excursion in an actual crash. 

As explained above, however, the times during 
which the load is imposed and held by the anchorage 
during Standard No. 210 compliance testing is un- 
changed in this final rule. Because this rule does not 
reduce the load hold time, NHTSA does not believe 
there is any practical means of complying with the 
proposed deformation limit, nor is there any safety 
need for adding the proposed deformation limit to 
the standard. Agency compliance testing using the 
current 10 second load hold time demonstrates that 
some current designs for anchorages would not com- 
ply with the proposed deformation limit. In some 
compliance tests, deformation has been so severe 
that the tests had to be interrupted because of 



excessive instrument travel. The only way for such 
vehicles to comply with this proposed deformation 
limit for anchorages would be if much of the vehicle 
structm-e supporting the anchorages were redesigned. 
It is not clear that real world safety benefits would 
be realized sufficient to justify imposing a require- 
ment for major redesign of vehicles. The load impo- 
sition and load hold times specified for compliance 
testing are admittedly not directly representative of 
actual crash conditions. Since the anchorage 
strength test is not directly representative of actual 
crash conditions, it is not clear that imposing new 
deformation limits for the anchorages during that 
strength test would enhance occupant safety during 
actual crash conditions. Moreover, the available ac- 
cident data do not indicate that current vehicles, 
which are not subject to any limitations on anchor- 
age deformation, pose any significant safety risk to 
occupants wearing safety belts, as a result of exces- 
sive anchorage deformation. This suggests that there 
is no safety basis for changing the existing regulatory 
structure. Accordingly, no anchorage deformation lim- 
its have been adopted in this rulemaking. 

3. Upper Anchorage Location Zone 
As noted in the NPRM, Standard No. 210 and ECE 
Regulation No. 14 specify limits on the zones in 
which the upper anchorage for the shoulder portion 
of lap/shoulder belts can be located. The ECE regu- 
lation differs from Standard No. 210 in that the ECE 
regulation permits an anchorage to be located fur- 
ther forward than does Standard No. 210. In fact, the 
ECE regulation permits the upper anchorage for a 
shoulder belt to be located in front of an occupant's 
shoulder. 

The NPRM noted that the agency is aware of test 
data showing that an anchorage positioned in front 
of an occupant's shoulder can allow increased head 
movement and thus potentially increase the risk of 
head injury. The NPRM identified three different 
studies that supported this conclusion. On the other 
hand, the NPRM also noted that the agency was 
aware of one set of test data indicating that the 
increased head movement from anchorage locations 
forward of the shoulder may not significanly in- 
crease the risk of head injury. The agency sought 
comments on whether to adopt the upper anchorage 
location zone specified in the ECE regulation, and 
stated in the NPRM that it was particularly inter- 
ested in receiving additional accident and/or test 
data on the safety effects of permitting anchorages 
to be located in front of an occupant's shoulder. 

No commenter provided any such data in response 
to this request. Without discussing any potential 
safety implications, many of the commenters urged 
NHTCA to harmonize Standard No. 210's require- 
ments with those in the ECE regulation. As ex- 



PART 571; S210-PRE 51 



plained above, NHTSA cannot take any steps to 
harmonize its safety standards with other countries' 
vehicle regulations until the agency has carefully 
considered the safety consequences of such steps. In 
this case, the data appear conflicting, but the pre- 
ponderance of the evidence suggests that permitting 
the upper anchorage to be located in front of an 
occupant's shoulder would potentially increase the 
risk of head injury. Until such time as it is clearly 
demonstrated that permitting anchorage locations 
in front of an occupant's shoulder does not pose an 
increased risk of injury, NHTSA believes it is inap- 
propriate to permit such anchorage locations. Hence, 
this rule makes no change to the location zone cur- 
rently specified in Standard No. 210 for upper anchor- 
ages subject to the standard's location requirement. 

4. Lateral Spacing of Lap Belt Anchorages 
Standard No. 210 currently specifies a minimum 
lateral spacing of 6.5 inches for lap belt anchorages, 
while the ECE regulation requires a minimum of 
13.75 inches lateral spacing for lap belt anchorages. 
In the NPRM, the agency stated that it recognized 
that the closer the spacing of lap belt anchorages, 
the greater the possibility of increased lateral move- 
ment by a belt user during an oblique, side, or 
rollover crash. In addition, NHTSA stated that closer 
spacing of anchorages could permit increased side 
loads on an occupant's pelvis. However, the agency 
acknowledged that it did not have any data indicat- 
ing that the possible side loads and lateral move- 
ment do, in fact, present an increased risk of injury. 
Thus, the NPRM asked for comments and data on 
the effect of anchorage spacing on occupant safety. 

Fiat and Volvo commented that they would sup- 
port an amendment of Standard No. 210 to adopt the 
ECE anchorage spacing requirement, although nei- 
ther commenter provided any data to support such 
an amendment. Fiat repeated the agency's assertion 
that close spacing of lap belt anchorages could 
permit increased side loading. Volvo asserted that 
wider spacing of lap belt anchorages would enable 
the lap belt to "better secure child safety seats," but 
did not explain why this would be so. NHTSA as- 
sumes that Volvo was alluding to the issue of 
sideward excursion that was noted in the NPRM for 
adult users of the safety belt. 

On the other hand, several commenters suggested 
that there was no need to change the existing lap 
belt anchorage spacing requirement. GM com- 
mented that further study is needed before consid- 
ering any changes. Similarly, Navistar commented 
that the agency should have sound data before 
making any change to the anchorage spacing re- 
quirements. Blue Bird commented that the ECE 
13.75 inch spacing for lap belt anchorages would "be 
difficult to accomplish" for school bus seats, because 



those seats are generally designed to allow 13.0 inch 
rump room for passengers. Chrysler commented that 
there are no data showing a safety need to increase 
the anchorage spacing from the 6.5 inches that has ff 
been specified for the past 20 years. Ford also com- 
mented that there were no safety data showing the 
need for a change, and added that a requirement for 
13.75 inch anchorage spacing would require a redesign 
in current vehicles with center seating positions. 

NHTSA agrees with the commenters that stated 
that there should be a sound safety basis for a 
requirement that will force manufacturers to change 
vehicle designs, particularly when such designs 
have been expressly permitted by the safety stan- 
dards for the preceding 20 years. With respect to lap 
belt anchorage spacing, there are three possible 
safety considerations that could serve as a basis for 
increased anchorage spacing. First, closer spacing 
could permit increased lateral movement in an ob- 
lique, side, or rollover crash. Even accepting this as 
true, NHTSA is unaware of any data, from either 
laboratory testing or real world crashes, that indi- 
cate a serious risk of injury as a result of this 
increased lateral movement. Given the number of 
vehicles that have used anchorage spacing narrower 
than is specified by ECE, especially at center seating 
positions, it seems reasonable to conclude that the 
absence of any data to the contrary shows that the 
anchorage spacing currently specified in Standard ,'j 
No. 210 does not permit any serious risk of injury to ' 
motor vehicle occupants as a result of lateral move- 
ment in crashes. Second, closer spacing of lap belt 
anchorages could create injurious inward sideload- 
ing on the pelvis of the occupant during a frontal 
crash. However, the agency's examination of acci- 
dent data and studies indicates that, to the extent 
belt users experience pelvic injuries like hip disloca- 
tions and fractures, those injuries are the result of 
the crash forces driving the occupant's knee back 
into the hip, not the safety belt loads being applied 
directly to the hip. See, e.g., Otte, Dietmar, "Re- 
sidual Injuries to Restrained Car Occupants in Fron- 
tal and Rear Seat Positions," Accident Research 
Unit, Hannover, West Germany (May 1987). This 
being the case, there is no reason to believe that a 
regulatory change to reduce potential inward belt 
loading on the pelvis, by mandating the wider an- 
chorage spacing in the ECE regulation, would 
achieve any significant reduction in the number of 
pelvic injuries to occupants. Third, the possibility of 
submarining was investigated in a research study 
(Leung, C.Y., et ai, "Submarining Injuries of 3 Point 
Belted Occupants in Frontal Collisions— Description, 
Mechanisms, and Protection," SAE 821158). After a 
series of tests, the Leung study found that the ^ | 
likelihood of occupant submarining decreases as the 
lap belt anchorage spacing decreases. Hence, adopt- 



PART 571; S210-PRE 52 



11 



ing the wider anchorage spacing specified in the 
ECE regulation would not reduce the likelihood of 
occupant submarining. 

NHTSA also notes that the narrower spacing 
requirement in Standard No. 210 gives manufactur- 
ers more design latitude than the corresponding 
ECE requirement. Manufactui'ers that wish to cer- 
tify compliance with the anchorage spacing require- 
ments in both Standard No. 210 and the ECE re- 
quirements can do so by merely spacing the 
anchorages in its vehicles more widely than the 
ECE's minimum 13.75 inches. 

Since the agency is not aware of evidence showing 
any significant safety benefits that would be associ- 
ated with the ECE lap belt anchorage spacing re- 
quirements, and adopting the ECE lap belt mini- 
mum anchorage spacing requirements would impose 
some additional costs by requiring modifications to 
some existing vehicle designs, this rule does not 
make any changes to the minimum lap belt anchor- 
age spacing requirements currently specified in 
Standard No. 210. 

5. Simultaneous Testing of Anchorages 
Standard No. 210 currently requires that all floor- 
mounted anchorages for adjacent designated seating 
positions be tested simultaneously for anchorage 
strength. ECE Regulation No. 14 requires that all 
anchorages common to a single seat assembly, 
whether floor-mounted or mounted on the seat 
frame, be tested simultaneously. This ECE require- 
ment ensures that the anchorages for all three seat- 
ing positions on a standard passenger car bench seat 
will be tested simultaneously. In the NPRM, the 
agencj' noted that the requirement in the ECE 
regulation is more representative of a real-world 
crash in which all seating positions are occupied. 
Accordingly, the agency proposed to adopt a require- 
ment that all anchorages common to one seat be 
tested simultaneously. 

Five commenters addressed this proposal. Three of 
the commenters (Volvo, Austin Rover, and Chrysler) 
supported the proposal for the reasons set forth in 
the NPRM. Ford also commented that it supported 
the proposal, but asked for some clarification of the 
relationship between the compliance testing for 
Standard No. 210 and that specified in Standard No. 
207, Seating Systems (49 CFR 571.207). Section 
S4.2(c) of Standard No. 207 provides that, if the seat 
belt assembly is attached to the seat being tested, 
the forces specified for Standard No. 207 compliance 
testing shall be applied simultaneously with the 
forces specified for Standard No. 210 compliance 
testing of the seat. Ford asked that Standard No. 210 
be amended to provide that the Standard No. 207 
compliance test forces be applied simultaneously 
with those of Standard No. 210. No such change has 



been made, because Standard No. 207 already con- 
tains a provision for simultaneous testing. There- 
fore, NHTSA does not believe a conforming cross- 
reference in Standard No. 210 is necessary. Ford also 
asked that Standard No. 207 be amended to provide 
that a seat that has been subjected to the simulta- 
neous loading need not pass any further seat loading 
tests. Whatever the merits of this request, it is 
outside the scope of this rulemaking action. 

Blue Bird, a manufacturer of school buses, com- 
mented that a requirement for simultaneous testing of 
all anchorages common to one seat assembly, regard- 
less of whether the anchorages were mounted on the 
vehicle floor or the seat frame, "would be extremely 
difficult and expensive to meet." Blue Bird "strongly 
requested" that a requirement for simultaneous test- 
ing of all anchorages for any given seat assembly be 
carefully studied and the safety need conclusively 
established before making this requirement applicable 
to passenger seats on school buses. 

Section S4.1.2 of Standard No. 210 provides that 
school buses with a gross vehicle weight rating 
(GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds are not required 
to have anchorages installed for the passenger seats. 
Any anchorages that are installed for passenger seat- 
ing positions in those school buses would be purely 
voluntary, and not in response to any regulatory re- 
quirement. Thus, any anchorages for safety belts that 
ai'e installed on the passenger seats in large school 
buses are not subject to any of the anchorage require- 
ments specified in Standard No. 210. 

This is not the case for anchorages installed for 
the passenger seats in school buses with a GVWR of 
10,000 pounds or less. Those seats are required by 
section S5(b) of Standard No. 222, School Bus Pas- 
senger Seating and Crash Protection (49 CFR 
571.222) to comply with the requirements of Stan- 
dard No. 210 as those requirements apply to multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles. Accordingly, S4.1.2 of 
Standard No. 210 requires that anchorages for either 
a lap-only belt or a lap/shoulder belt be installed for 
each passenger seating position in small school 
buses. Thus, a forward-facing bench seat on a small 
school bus that has three passenger seating posi- 
tions would be tested by simultaneously loading the 
anchorages for all three of those passenger seating 
positions. 

NHTSA believes it is appropriate to require simul- 
taneous testing of anchorages for the passenger 
seats in small school buses for a number of reasons. 
First, a requirement for simultaneous testing of 
passenger seat anchorages is more representative of 
real world crash conditions with all seating positions 
occupied for small school buses, just as the simulta- 
neous testing requirement is more representative of 
real world crash conditions with all seating positions 
occupied in passenger cars and light trucks. 



PART 571; S210-PRE 53 



Second, the failure to require simultaneous test- 
ing of anchorages for the passenger seats in small 
school buses would erode the level of safety protec- 
tion afforded to passengers in those small school 
buses. The agency based its recent decision to ex- 
empt small school buses from the requirements for 
rear seat lap/shoulder belts by explaining that occu- 
pants in small school buses have the occupant pro- 
tection of both lap-only safety belts and compart- 
mentalization; 54 FR 46257, at 46260-46261, 
November 2, 1989. If the anchorages for the lap belts 
at the passenger seating positions were now to be 
exempted from the simultaneous anchorage 
strength testing requirement, the passengers in 
small school buses might not have the occupant 
protection of lap-only safety belts in situations 
where all the positions on a seat were occupied. The 
agency believes that occupants of small school buses 
need the protection of both safety belts and compart- 
mentalization for effective occupant protection in 
these lighter vehicles. 

Third, NHTSA believes it is feasible and practica- 
ble for manufacturei-s of small school buses to design 
passenger seats and anchorages that can withstand 
simultaneous testing of anchorages under Standard 
No. 210 and exhibit the force deflection characteris- 
tics specified for compartmentalization under Stan- 
dard No. 222. Engineering principles suggest that 
one could design the legs of the seat to sustain the 
anchorage strength test load, if the anchorages were 
mounted on the seat, and design the seat back to 
deform according to Standard No. 222 's deflection 
requirements. Additionally, agency testing has con- 
firmed that some existing van seats with anchorages 
mounted on the seats comply with Standard No. 210's 
anchorage strength requirements when all the seat- 
mounted anchorages were tested simultaneously. 

Additionally, this rule clarifies the existing re- 
quirement for simultaneous testing for all "ad- 
jacent" designated seating positions. The term "ad- 
jacent" is imprecise. For example, "adjacent" could 
be misinterpreted as specifying simultaneous test- 
ing for front and rear outboard seating positions on 
the same side of the vehicle, or it could be misinter- 
preted as specifying simultaneous testing for bucket 
seats in the front that are not separated by a console 
or some other structure. This rule more precisely 
expresses the agency's intention by deleting the 
reference to simultaneous testing of "adjacent" des- 
ignated seating positions, and substituting a re- 
quirement for simultaneous testing of all designated 
seating positions that face in the same direction and 
are common to the same occupant seat. 

C. Limitation on Anchorage Movement During 

Static Test 
The NPRM also proposed an alternative under 



which the static testing requirements in Standard 
No. 210 would be retained, but some limitations on 
anchorage movement during that testing would be ^ 
added. For the reasons explained above in the dis- / r 
cussion of adopting the ECE limitations on anchor- ^ 
age deformation, NHTSA has decided not to adopt 
any limitations on anchorage deformation during 
the testing specified in Standard No. 210. Hence, 
this alternative proposal for anchorage deformation 
limits is not adopted in this final rule. 



II. Automatic Belt Anchorage Strength 
In the NPRM, NHTSA proposed to clarify the 
strength requirements for anchorages for automatic 
belts. The agency noted that its interpretations have 
long stated that anchorages for automatic belts are 
required to meet the strength requirements set for 
the anchorages for manual lap/shoulder safety belts, 
instead of the strength requirements set for the 
anchorages for manual lap-only safety belts. The 
notice proposed to expressly incorporate this inter- 
pretation into the standard. 

Several manufacturers commented that anchor- 
ages for automatic belts should be exempted from 
the strength requirements of Standard No. 210. 
NHTSA did not propose such a change, because 
NHTSA does not believe such a change would ad- 
vance the interests of safety. For the same reasons / ^ 
set forth above in explaining why this rule does not ^ ^ 
exempt from the strength requirements the anchor- 
ages for dynamically tested manual belts, the 
agency believes it would be similarly inappropriate 
to exempt the anchorages for automatic belts from 
the strength requirements of Standard No. 210. As 
proposed, the specific strength requirements 
adopted in this rule for automatic belt anchorages 
are the same requirements that currently apply to 
anchorages for manual lap/shoulder safety belts. 



III. Deletion of Manual Belt Anchorages for 
Automatic Belt Vehicles 
Section S4.1.1 of Standard No. 210 currently re- 
quires anchorages for manual lap/shoulder safety 
belts to be installed for all front outboard seating 
positions in passenger cars. Section S4.1.4 of Stan- 
dard No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection (49 CFR 
571.208), requires that front outboard seating posi- 
tions in passenger cars manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1989 be equipped with automatic 
crash protection. (The front outboard passenger's 
seating position in these cars may be equipped with 
a dynamically tested manual lap/shoulder safety 
belt if the driver's position is equipped with an air ■ 
bag and the car is manufactured before September 1, 
1993.) NHTSA has expressly exempted the anchor- 



PART 571; S210-PRE 54 



ages for automatic or dynamically tested manual 
safety belts from the anchorage location require- 
ments in Standard No. 210. Thus, the anchorages to 
which automatic or dynamically tested manual 
safety belts originally installed in a vehicle are 
attached are not required to comply with the loca- 
tion requirements of Standard No. 210. 

However, if the anchorages for any automatic or 
dynamically tested manual safety belts originally 
installed at front outboard seating positions in a 
passenger car do not comply with the location re- 
quirements of Standard No. 210, the standard pro- 
vides that anchorages for a manual lap/shoulder belt 
that comply with the anchorage location require- 
ments must also be installed at that seating posi- 
tion. NHTSA justified this requirement for seem- 
ingly redundant anchorages by explaining that this 
requirement would allow owners to replace damaged 
automatic belts with manual lap/shoulder belts if 
they so desired. 

The agency reexamined this requirement in re- 
sponse to a petition for rulemaking on this subject 
submitted by GM. This reexamination led the 
agency to propose to delete the requirement for 
complying anchorages to be provided at seating 
positions originally equipped with safety belts that 
did not make use of anchorages within the locations 
permitted in Standard No. 210 (i.e., automatic or 
dynamically tested manual safety belts). This pro- 
posal reflected the agency's tentative conclusions 
that: 

a. NHTSA is unaware of any widespread demand 
for alternative types of belt systems when replacing 
damaged safety belts. Instead, the agency antici- 
pates that consumers would opt to simply have a 
replacement safety belt system installed similar to 
the belt system with which the car was originally 
equipped. Hence, the potential benefits of a require- 
ment for redundant anchorages would accrue very 
infrequently, if ever. 

b. It is possible that a manual lap/shoulder safety 
belt would not provide adequate occupant protection 
at a seating position originally equipped with auto- 
matic or dynamically tested manual safety belts. For 
instance, the manufacturer might install an auto- 
matic or dynamically tested manual belt system 
that had particular elongation patterns or limited 
webbing spoolout, so as to adapt the safety belt 
system to the needs of that particular seating posi- 
tion. A manual lap/shoulder belt that complied with 
the general requirements of Standard No. 209 might 
not have the same attributes as the original belt 
system. In this case, use of a different type of belt 
system than that with which the vehicle was origi- 
nally equipped could lessen the crash protection 
afforded to occupants of the car. 

The NPRM took care to emphasize that this pro- 



posal would not affect the requirement in section S7 
of Standard No. 210 that anchorages for a manual 
lap belt must be installed at the front right seating 
position if the automatic crash protection system 
cannot be used to secure a child seat and if a manual 
lap-only or lap/shoulder belt is not installed at that 
seating position. In those instances, anchorages for a 
manual lap belt ensure that a child seat can be 
properly secured at the right front seating position. 
NHTSA did not propose to amend that requirement. 
All of the commenters that addressed this issue 
supported the proposed deletion of the requirement 
for redundant anchorages. This final rule adopts the 
proposed deletion of the requirement for those re- 
dundant anchorages. Additionally, since this re- 
lieves an obligation that requires vehicles to have 
unnecessary equipment that might result in lesser 
occupant protection, NHTSA finds for good cause 
that this deletion should be effective immediately 
upon publication of this rule in the Federal Register. 

rV. Test Anchorage With Seat in Its Rearmost 
Position 

Mercedes Benz filed a petition asking the agency 
to revise the seat location requirement currently 
specified to determine if the upper anchorage for a 
lap/shoulder safety belt complies with the anchorage 
location requirements of Standard No. 210. The 
standard currently provides that the determination 
will be made with the seat in its full rearward and 
downward position and with a two-dimensional man- 
ikin positioned with its torso line at the same angle 
from the vertical as the seat back and with its "H" 
point located at the seating reference point. (The 
"H" point simulates the location of the hip joint, and 
the seating reference point is the manufacturer's 
design reference point that determines the rearmost 
normal driving position of the seat.) Mercedes' peti- 
tion asserted that vehicles with extended seat track 
travel would have a seating reference point several 
inches forward of the seat back of an adjustable seat 
adjusted to its rearmost position. 

Mercedes filed another petition asking the agency 
to revise the definition of "seating reference point" 
in 49 CFR 571.3. This petition and the effects that a 
revision of the definition of "seating reference point" 
would have on compliance with the safety standards 
other than Standard No. 210 are being addressed in 
a separate rulemaking action. See 51 FR 20536; 
June 5, 1986. 

Both in that separate rulemaking action and in 
the NPRM for this rule, NHTSA explained that the 
agency believes that positioning of the seat for the 
purposes of determining a vehicle's compliance with 
the upper anchorage location requirements of Stan- 
dard No. 210 should be treated differently than the 



PART 571; S210-PRE 55 



positioning of the seat for other standards or the 
positioning of the seat to determine a vehicle's 
compliance with the minimum and maximum lap 
belt mounting angles. As explained above, NHTSA 
wants to ensure that the upper anchorage of a 
lap/shoulder belt cannot be positioned significantly 
in front of an occupant's shoulder, because such a 
positioning could allow increased head movement 
and increased risk of injury. To ensure that upper 
anchorages will not be positioned significantly for- 
ward of an occupant's shoulder, NHTSA believes it is 
appropriate to adjust the seat to its most rearward 
position to determine if the vehicle complies with 
the upper anchorage location zones specified in 
Standard No. 210. 

In the NPRM for this rule, NHTSA stated that it 
would use the "existing seating reference point" to 
determine whether a lap belt or the lap belt portion 
of a lap/shoulder belt meets the minimum and 
maximum mounting angle requirements in Stan- 
dard No. 210. The NPRM acknowledged that the 
seating adjustment position in which the existing 
seating reference point is determined "may not be 
the rearmost position." If the seating reference point 
is defined with the seat in some position other than 
the rearmost, the current requirement in S4.3.2 of 
Standard No. 210 for determining compliance with 
the upper anchorage location requirements (the seat 
in its full rearward position and the manikin's "H" 
point at the seating reference point) appears to allow 
the upper anchorage to be positioned significantly 
forward of an occupant's shoulder, notwithstanding 
NHTSA's repeated statements that it wants to pro- 
hibit such anchorage locations. 

The reason for this apparent anomaly is that the 
seating reference point simultaneously defines two 
dependent variables. These variables are: 

1. the adjustment position of the seat (rearmost 
normal driving or riding position), and 

2. the location of the manikin's "H" point relative 
to the seat cushion and the seat back. 

The anomaly in Standard No. 210 arises because 
the standard attempts to use the seating reference 
point to define only one of these variables (the 
location of the manikin's H point), and to establish a 
definition for the other variable different than that 
which is specified for the seating reference point (the 
adjustment position of the seat). Specifically, section 
S4.3.2 of Standard No. 210 refers to the seating 
reference point as the location for the manikin's "H" 
point, while specifying a seat adjustment position 
(full rearward and downward position) different from 
that which is specified for the seating reference 
point. 

In those vehicles in which the seating reference 
point is determined when the seat is adjusted to a 
position forward of the rearmost seat adjustment 



position, the seating reference point would be lo- 
cated several inches forward of where the seat back 
would be located when the seat is in the rearmost 
position. When the procedures of Standard No. 210 / j 
for positioning the two dimensional manikin with its 
torso line at the same angle from the vertical as the 
seat back and its "H" point located at the seating 
reference point are followed for such vehicles, the 
result is that the manikin's torso line is located not 
tangent to, but several inches forward of and parallel 
to the seat back. The acceptable upper anchorage 
location zone shown in Figure 1 of Standard No. 210 
would also move forward several inches to corre- 
spond to this manikin positioning. While the result- 
ing anchorage location would be suitable when the 
seat is adjusted so that it is at or forward of the 
seating adjustment position in which the seating 
reference point was determined, the location might 
be unsuitable when the seat is adjusted so that it is 
to the rear of that seating adjustment position. 

To eliminate the potential for confusion, this rule 
deletes the existing requirement in S4.3.2 that the 
manikin's "H" point be located at the seating refer- 
ence point. As proposed in the NPRM, this rule 
substitutes a requirement that the manikin's "H" 
point shall be at the "design H point of the seat in 
that seating position, as defined in SAE Recom- 
mended Practice JllOO (June 1984)." Unlike the 
seating reference point approach which establishes > 
the location of the manikin's "H" point at only one r 
seat adjustment position, the "design 'H' point" ^ 
approach can be used to establish the location of the 
manikin's "H" point at any seat adjustment posi- 
tion. Section 84. 3. 2 continues to specify the same 
seat adjustment position, i.e., the seat must be in the 
full rearward and downward position. 

V. Compliance Test Equipment 
The NPRM described the Standard No. 210 com- 
pliance testing problems the agency had experi- 
enced. NHTSA stated that the problems resulted 
mainly from excessive side loads induced by the body 
block used in the test procedure to simulate the 
human torso. However, other problems were attrib- 
uted to belt webbing elongation, deformation of the 
vehicle structure, and lack of adequate distance to 
pull the body block in smaller vehicles. NHTSA 
proposed some changes specifically to address these 
testing problems. 

A. Use of Cables 
At present. Standard No. 210 implies that the 
safety belt assemblies installed in the vehicle will be 
used during compliance testing to transfer the test 
load from the body block to the anchorage. To reduce / 
testing problems that result from the interaction 
between the safety belts and the test equipment, the 



PART 571; S210-PRE 56 



agency proposed to use cables (wire rope) instead of 

the vehicle's safety belts for compliance testing. 

Before proposing this change, NHTSA conducted a 

'ik test program showing that Standard No. 210 compli- 

r ance testing results using cables were comparable to 

the testing results obtained using the vehicle's 

. safety belts. 

i Nearly all of the commenters that addressed this 
' proposal opposed a change to the exclusive use of 
cables instead of safety belt webbing. Some com- 
menters alleged that cables would concentrate the 
specified loading over a much smaller area than 
would occur if the loading were applied by the 
webbing of the safety belt installed in the vehicle. 
Because of this concentrated loading, these com- 
menters alleged that loading imposed by means of 
cables would be so unrepresentative of loading im- 
posed by safety belt webbing that cables should not 
be used for compliance testing. Other commenters, 
including Mercedes, suggested that the proposed use 
of cable instead of webbing would have only minor 
effects on the test results. However, these comment- 
ers suggested that the standard should permit the 
optional use of either cables or safety belt webbing 
for compliance testing. Further, some other com- 
menters, including Chrysler, suggested that the 
agency could achieve its aim of reducing the number 
of compliance tests that cannot be completed with- 
out introducing the more concentrated loading that 
would result from the use of cable. These comment- 
ers recommended that Standard No. 210 specify the 
use of high-strength, low-elongation safety belt 
webbing for its compliance tests. 

NHTSA was aware that connecting the cables 
directly to the anchorage being tested could produce 
loading on the anchorages that might be unrepre- 
sentative of loading that would result if the same 
force levels were applied to the anchorages by means 
of webbing. The proposal was not intended to result 
in compliance testing where the cables would be 
connected directly to the anchorage fixture. Instead, 
NHTSA intended to use an adapter plate to connect 
the cables to either the attachment hardware or the 
webbing of the belt system installed in the vehicle. 
This adapter plate would have the same geometry as 
a D-Ring on a belt system, and would have distrib- 
uted the load evenly across the width of the webbing 
or the attachment hardware. The agency believes 
that the commenters' assertion of unrepresentative 
loading was based upon a misunderstanding of the 
proposal. 

The proposal to use cables for compliance testing 

was intended to ensure that the results of those tests 

would be determined by the properties of the anchor- 

ge fixtures being tested, and that those tests would 

ot have to be terminated before completion because 

of the properties of the safety belt systems installed 



f> 



it 



in the vehicles. This intent can be effectuated by 
substituting any high-strength, low-elongation ma- 
terial for the webbing of the vehicle's safety belts in 
situations where prior experience indicates that the 
original equipment belt webbing will fail during 
compliance testing. NHTSA is using the term "high 
strength" to refer to any material that is stronger 
than the maximum load imposed during the compli- 
ance test. The term "low elongation" means a ma- 
terial that has no more stretch over the range of 
loads specified in compliance testing than typical 
original equipment polyester safety belt webbing. 
Typical polyester belt webbing has a breaking 
strength of approximately 7,000 pounds and an 
elongation of seven percent when subjected to a 
2,500 pound load. NHTSA does not believe that 
cables would better serve the agency's purposes than 
any other high-strength, low-elongation material, 
such as chains or polyester belt webbing. Similarly, 
NHTSA believes that any high-strength, low-elonga- 
tion material will produce comparable test results to 
the results that would be obtained using cables. 

The agency agrees with the commenters that 
compliance testing should not result in unrealistic 
loading for the anchorages. To ensure realistic load- 
ing of the anchorages, the NPRM proposed to ex- 
pressly provide in Standard No. 210 that the load 
would be transmitted to the anchorages by means of 
the original equipment safety belt attachment hard- 
ware in the vehicle. This proposal was intended to 
ensure that the anchorage loading during compli- 
ance testing would be identical to that which would 
be experienced by the anchorages if the compliance 
testing were conducted with the original equipment 
safety belt system in its entirety. To further ensure 
that the loading imposed during compliance testing 
is a realistic simulation of actual anchorage loading, 
this rule specifies that the material used to apply 
the load to the anchorages in compliance testing, 
whether it be cables, chains, or webbing, be equal to 
or gi'eater in strength than the original equipment 
webbing and that the material used to apply the load 
to the anchorages shall duplicate the geometry of the 
original equipment webbing at that seating position. 

B. Test Block Width 
Standard No. 210 currently specifies that a body 
block 20 inches long by 14 inches wide shall be used 
in compliance testing for lap belt anchorages and the 
pelvic portion of lap/shoulder belt anchorages. The 
NPRM noted that the 14 inch width of the current 
body block can preclude the simultaneous testing of 
safety belt anchorages for all three seating positions 
in the rear seat of smaller cars. To address this 
problem, the NPRM proposed to reduce the body 
block's dimensions to 13 inches long by 10 inches 
wide. The proposed width reduction was intended to 



PART 571; S210-PRE 57 



make it easier to simultaneously test anchorages for 
rear seating positions in smaller cars. The proposed 
length reduction was intended to provide more total 
pull distance in both front and rear seats, thereby 
making it easier to conduct the strength tests. 
NHTSA acknowledged that the proposed reduction 
in the size of the body blocks would result in a very 
small reduction in the longitudinal load applied to 
the anchorage. However, the agency noted that the 
overall load input would be unchanged. 

Nearly all of the commenters that addressed this 
proposed reduction in the size of the body block 
opposed the change. Only BMW commented that it 
had no objection to this proposal, although that 
commenter suggested that the use of the smaller 
body blocks be made optional with the manufac- 
turer. The other commenters raised various objec- 
tions to the proposal. 

First, many commenters argued that the smaller 
body blocks would move Standard No. 210 away from 
harmonization with the ECE regulation, which uses 
20 inch by 16 inch body blocks for its lap belt 
anchorage testing. This argument was not persua- 
sive. Standard No. 210 currently specifies that 14 
inch wide body blocks will be used in compliance 
testing. This requirement is not harmonized with 
the ECE regulation's specification of 16 inch wide 
body blocks. It does not appear feasible to move 
Standard No. 210 toward the wider body blocks used 
by the ECE, considering the testing problems that 
have been encountered with the current body blocks 
that are already narrower than the ECE body 
blocks. The proposed reduction in size to even nar- 
rower 10 inch wide body blocks would remain not 
harmonized with the ECE 16 inch wide body blocks, 
but would reduce the testing problems encountered 
with the current 14 inch wide body blocks. Thus, the 
current and proposed absence of harmonization be- 
tween Standard No. 210 and the ECE regulation is 
not unnecessary nor is it an oversight. Instead, it 
reflects actual problems that have arisen in compli- 
ance testing. 

Second, many commenters argued that the 
smaller body bock would produce unrealistic loading 
on the anchorages. The reduction in width of the 
body block will cause the load to be applied in a 
direction that is five to ten degrees further away 
from directly forward of the anchorage. NHTSA 
agrees that, as the angle of the force application 
deviates from the directly forward direction, an 
actual increase in the resultant vector in the direc- 
tion of the force applied will be created. This means 
that the anchorages being tested will experience 
slightly higher forces as less wide body blocks are 
used to apply the forces, even though the overall 
force remains constant. 

However, NHTSA does not believe these slightly 



higher forces are significant enough to produce dif- 
fering test results. The 10 inch wide body bocks 
would produce forces on the lap belt anchorages 
during compliance testing that are approximately 
two percent greater than would be imposed on those 
anchorages by using 14 inch wide body blocks dur- 
ing compliance testing. Although commenters as- 
serted that this increase could force redesign of the 
anchorages in some vehicles, no commenter offered 
any examples of particular vehicles whose anchor- 
ages would have to be redesigned. 

Additionally, NHTSA does not believe that the 
reduced body block size is unrepresentative of poten- 
tial vehicle occupants, since many children have a 
pelvic width of 10 inches or less. For instance, the 
hip breadth of a sitting 50th percentile 6-year-old 
child is 8.4 inches. The hip breadth of a sitting 5th 
percentile adult female is 12.8 inches. Given these 
facts, the argument that the 10 inch wide body block 
would be unrepresentative of persons likely to oc- 
cupy the seating position is not convincing. 

Third, several commenters questioned the need for 
smaller body blocks for various reasons. Some com- 
menters, including Mitsubishi, asserted that they 
had not encountered any difficulties in conducting 
certification testing in the rear seats of even their 
subcompacts using the procedures currently speci- 
fied in Standard No. 210. Such assertions are con- 
trary to the agency's experience, because NHTSA 
has encountered difficulties conducting compliance 
testing in the rear seat of smaller cars, as stated in 
the NPRM. The agency believes it must make some 
changes to the compliance testing procedures set 
forth in the standard to minimize difficulties in such 
testing, regardless of the manufacturers' experi- 
ences during their certification testing of their par- 
ticular models. 

Other commenters, including Ford, asserted that 
the compliance testing problems that led the agency 
to propose the use of smaller body blocks would be 
alleviated by other changes proposed in the NPRM. 
It was asserted that, when these other changes were 
adopted, there would be no further need for the 
smaller body blocks in compliance testing. In re- 
sponse to these allegations, the agency has analyzed 
this rule and concluded that there may still be 
instances where the smaller body blocks will be 
needed, but those instances will be less frequent. 
Accordingly, this rule adopts a provision permitting 
the use of the smaller body blocks. 

Even though NHTSA has concluded that the argu- 
ments set forth in the comments are not persuasive 
reasons for prohibiting the use of smaller body blocks 
in compliance testing, the agency is reluctant to re- 
quire the use of smaller body blocks in the face of these 
arguments. The reason for proposing to use smaller 
body blocks was solely to reduce compliance testing 



It 



PART 571; S210-PRE 58 



problems. The smaller body blocks were not intended 
to address any specific safety concerns or otherwise 
impose more stringent testing requirements, lb the 
ll extent that the smaller body blocks impose more 
\f stringent requirements, even if the increase in strin- 
genc>' is insignificant, this is unintended. 
This final rule includes two additional provisions 
' to ensure that no unintended impacts will result 
from the use of smaller body blocks. Fii'st, the 
smaller body block will be used only in the center 
seating position(s) of three or more simultaneously 
tested sets of anchorages. This will ensure that the 
smaller body block is used only when it might be 
necessary to do so. Second, the use of the smaller 
body block at the center seating positions will be at 
the option of the vehicle manufacturer. This will 
ensure that the smaller body block is used for testing 
only when the vehicle manufacturer chooses to spec- 
ify the use of the smaller body block. These two new 
provisions allow the agency to ensure that no addi- 
tional burdens will be imposed on any party as a 
result of the use of smaller body blocks. 

VI. Clarification of Compliance Failure 

In the agency's compliance testing for Standard No. 

210, there have been instances in which the safety belt 

attachment hardware or attachment bolts have broken 

before the maximum test load had been applied to the 

anchorage. However, the agency's ability to take effec- 

Ul tive coiTective action was hindered by the fact that it is 

I not clear under the existing language of Standard No. 

210 that such failures are noncompliances with the 

standard, since the standard sets performance require- 

, ments for anchorages. 

I The agency tentatively concluded that it was nec- 
essary to amend Standard No. 210 to assure the 
proper performance not only of the anchorage fix- 
ture, but also of the belt assembly attachment hard- 
ware and bolts. The strength requirements of Stan- 
dard No. 210 were intended to ensure that the safety 
belt system will remain attached to the vehicle and 
not break free, even when exposed to severe crash 
forces. Obviously, the safety belt system will not 
remain attached to the vehicle if the anchorage 
fixture successfully withstands the crash forces, but 
the hardware attaching the belt system to the an- 
chorage fixture fails when exposed to these crash 
forces. 

Accordingly, the NPRM proposed to amend Stan- 
dard No. 210 to explicitly provide that the attach- 
ment hardware, the attachment bolt, and the an- 
chorage fixture itself must all comply with the 
performance requirements for anchorage strength. 
Most of the commenters that addressed this pro- 
jik posal opposed it. The most frequently stated reason 
f\T for opposing this change was that Standard No. 209, 
f Seat Belt Assemblies, already establishes perform- 



ance requirements for the strength of anchorage 
hardware. 

One of the commenters asked if NHTSA was using 
the term "attachment hardware" in this proposal to 
mean the same thing that this term means when 
used in Standard No. 209. Section S3 of Standard No. 
209 defines attachment hardware as "any or all 
hardware designed for securing the webbing of a seat 
belt assembly to a motor vehicle." The answer to 
this question is yes, "attachment hardware" is used 
with the same meaning in Standards No. 209 and 
210. 

This commenter and others suggested that it was 
unnecessary to impose a second strength require- 
ment on the attachment hardware. NHTSA did not 
find these comments persuasive. As explained ear- 
lier in this preamble, the test conditions in Standard 
No. 210 are not intended to simulate an actual 
vehicle crash. Instead, the test conditions in Stan- 
dard No. 210 are intended to subject the safety 
equipment to force or exposure levels that are suffi- 
ciently high that one can reasonably conclude that 
the equipment is unlikely to fail as a result of 
exposure to severe crash forces or severe environ- 
mental conditions. NHTSA believes it is important 
to expose both the anchorage itself and the connec- 
tion(s) between that anchorage and the safety belt 
assembly, including the connection between the at- 
tachment hardware and the anchorage, to these high 
force levels. Such exposure indicates that the safety 
belt system will remain attached to the anchorage 
when exposed to crash forces. Although requiring 
the attachment hardware to be tested under Stan- 
dard No. 210 may appear redundant of the existing 
requirement that the attachment hardware comply 
with the requirements of Standard No. 209, these 
tests actually demonstrate a continuum of strength 
necessary for occupant protection. Accordingly, S5 of 
Standard No. 210 is amended to explicitly provide 
that the attachment hardware and the attachment 
bolt must comply with the performance require- 
ments for anchorage strength in Standard No. 210. 

VII. Issues Not Directly Discussed in the NPRM 

A. Vehicles with a GVWR in Excess of 10,000 
Pounds 
Several commenters asked that the agency con- 
sider harmonizing the anchorage strength require- 
ments more fully with the ECE regulations as 
applied to heavy vehicles (those with a gross vehicle 
weight rating [GVWR] of more than 10,000 pounds). 
The commenters noted that ECE Regulation No. 14 
permits the anchorages on heavy vehicles to be 
subjected to forces during strength testing that are 
one-half of the forces to which the anchorages on 
passenger cars are subjected. The justification for 



PART 571; S210-PRE 59 



this reduction in force for heavy vehicle anchorages 
is that, in a crash situation, the greater mass of 
these heavy vehicles will result in deceleration at a 
much slower rate than that of smaller vehicles, 
which in turn will subject the vehicle occupant and 
the vehicle safety belt assemblies and anchorages to 
lesser crash forces. 

NHTSA agrees that the loads experienced by the 
anchorages in heavy vehicles during crashes are 
generally less than the loads experienced by lighter 
vehicles during similar crashes. However, the ques- 
tions of whether to establish different loading re- 
quirements during the strength test for anchorages 
in heavy vehicles, and, if so, what different require- 
ments are appropriate, were not within the scope of 
this rulemaking. The agency is currently examining 
the question of the appropriate compliance test 
levels for heavy vehicles, including the safety belt 
anchorages in those vehicles. NHTSA will address 
this topic in a later rulemaking action devoted to 
this topic. 

Further, several commenters raised questions 
about seat adjusters on pedestal seats in heavy 
vehicles (i.e., seats that include a suspension system 
and that are mounted on a pedestal-like structure). 
Flxible correctly stated in its comments that Stan- 
dard No. 210's anchorage strength test requires that 
the seat be in its rearmost position. According to this 
commenter, many suspension systems on heavy ve- 
hicle seats allow seat movement in both the vertical 
and horizontal directions. For most designs of seats 
with suspension systems, a tether strap is used to 
connect the movable part of the seat to the vehicle 
structure. This tether strap is designed to be slack at 
all times to allow the movable part of the seat to 
move freely in both the vertical and horizontal 
directions. In order to put the seat in its rearmost 
position to test the anchorage strength, the tether 
must be adjusted to be taut so that the seat does not 
move horizontally to some position forward of its 
rearmost position. Flxible commented that while 
this allows the agency to test suspension seats in the 
same way as it tests seats without a suspension 
system, it also results in testing suspension seats and 
safety belt anchorages in a way that is totally artificial 
and not representative of how that seat and anchorage 
would react in a real vehicle crash situation. 

Again, this concern is outside the scope of this 
rulemaking action. However, Standard No. 210 com- 
pliance testing is conducted simultaneously with the 
compliance testing for Standard No. 207, Seating 
Systems. In an August 3, 1988 letter to Mr Barry 
Nudd, the agency explained in detail the procedures 
it uses for Standard No. 207 compliance testing of 
pedestal seats with seat adjusters that are installed 
in heavy vehicles. The agency promised in the Nudd 
letter to initiate rulemaking on Standard No. 207 's 



requirements for pedestal-type seats. As a part of 
that rulemaking, NHTSA will also address the ap- 
propriateness of the existing requirements in Stan- _^ 
dard No. 210 for pedestal-type seats. ( W 

B. Leadtime 

The agency proposed to make these changes effec- 
tive very soon after publication of a final rule, 
because the agency believed that the changes would 
just simplify the compliance test procedures and 
promote the international harmonization of vehicle 
safety requirements. NHTSA did not believe that 
any design changes would have to be made to exist- 
ing vehicles in response to this rule. Accordingly, the 
agency believed that the only leadtime that would be 
needed would be the time to institute changes in the 
compliance test procedures. 

However, many commenters argued that these 
agency beliefs were incorrect. Several commenters 
stated that some vehicle models would have to be 
redesigned in response to this rule, and that the 
redesign would require more time than was proposed 
in the NPRM. The leadtime said to be necessary to 
accommodate the redesigns ranged from 18 months, 
in the comments of Mazda and Subaru, to 4 years, in 
the comments of Nissan and Toyota. The agency was 
persuaded by these comments that more leadtime is 
necessary, especially since some modifications ofpe \ 
existing designs may be needed as a result of the ^v 
amendment to the minimum lap belt mounting 
angle incorporated in this rule. Therefore, this rule 
will not become effective until September 1, 1992. The 
agency has concluded that this period of leadtime will 
allow manufacturers to make the necessary changes 
without imposing an unnecessary burden. 

Economic and Other Impacts of This Rule 
NHTSA has evaluated the impacts of this final 
rule and determined that it is neither "major" 
within the meaning of Executive Order 12291 nor 
"significant" within the meaning of the Department 
of Transportation's regulatory policies and proce- 
dures. The new requirement for a minimum lap belt 
angle of 30 degrees will require modifications to 
some current vehicles that have lap belt angles of 
less than 30 degrees. However, the agency believes 
any such modifications that are necessary for cur- 
rent vehicles do not require any extensive redesign 
of the vehicle. These modifications can be made with 
minimal costs and burdens as a part of the minor 
changes that are routinely made to vehicles between 
model years. Since this rule allows such modifica- 
tions to be made at any time before September 1, \ 
1992, the costs and burdens of making the modifica- 
tions will be minimal. NHTSA estimates that the 



PART 571; S210-PRE 60 



costs of these modifications will average between 
$1.40 and $3.80 per affected vehicle. 

The requirement for simultaneous testing of the 
anchorages for all seating positions that face in the 
same direction and are common to the same occu- 
pant seat could force design changes to such anchor- 
ages mounted on the seat frame, because such an- 
chorages were not subject to the simultaneous 
testing requirement before the effective date of this 
amendment. However, testing done both by this 
agency and by manufacturers has shown that it is 
feasible to design seats for passenger cars and vans, 
including small school buses, that can withstand 
simultaneous testing of anchorages under Standard 
No. 210, testing of the seat under Standard No. 207, 
and testing of the seat back under Standard No. 222. 
While there will be some costs and burdens for the 
manufacturers whose vehicles are not already 
equipped with anchorages and seats that can comply 
with the simultaneous testing requirement, those 
costs and burdens will not be significant. Instead, 
those manufacturers will incur the costs that have 
already been voluntarily incurred by many of their 
competitors. 

Simultaneous testing of seat mounted anchorages 
in small school bus seats might increase prices of 
those buses by between $36 and $320 per bus, for 
total costs of from $183,600 to $1,632,000. Because 
the elasticity of demand for school buses is very low, 
these increased prices are not anticipated to have 
any significant effect on school bus sales. Likewise, 
no significant impacts are anticipated for school bus 
manufacturers. 

The deletion of the requirement for redundant 
anchorages in vehicles equipped with automatic 
safety belts will result in some minimal cost savings 
for the manufacturers of vehicles equipped with 
automatic safety belts. However, this savings will be 
minimal, since it will only reflect the materials cost 
of the redundant anchorages, estimated by NHTSA 
to be not more than $1.00 per vehicle. Since as many 
as 4 million passenger cars per year could avoid 
these costs, a total cost savings of $4 million might 
result from this deletion of the redundant anchorage 
requirements. 

Considering all these factors together, NHTSA 
estimates that if the estimated costs and other 
burdens are at the high end of the range, this rule 
will impose a net cost increase of $411,000. If the 
actual costs associated with this rulemaking are at 
the lower end of the estimated range, a net cost 
savings of up to $3.3 million could be realized. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 571.210 
is amended as follows: 

1. 84.1.3 of Standard No. 210 is revised to read as 
follows: 

84.1 Type. 



84.1.3 (a) Notwithstanding the requirement of 
84.1.1, each vehicle manufactured on or after Sep- 
tember 1, 1987 that is equipped with an automatic 
restraint at the front right outboard designated 
seating position, which automatic restraint cannot 
be used for securing a child restraint system or 
cannot be adjusted by the vehicle owner to secure a 
child restraint system solely through the use of 
attachment hardware installed as an item of origi- 
nal equipment by the vehicle manufacturer, shall 
have, at the manufacturer's option, either anchor- 
ages for a Type 1 seat belt assembly installed at that 
position or a Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly 
installed at that position. If a manufacturer elects to 
install anchorages for a Type 1 seat belt assembly to 
comply with this requirement, those anchorages 
shall consist of, at a minimum, holes threaded to 
accept bolts that comply with 84. 1(f) of Standard No. 
209 (49 CFR 571.209). 

(b) The requirement in 84. 1.1 of this standard that 
seat belt anchorages for a Type 2 seat belt assembly 
shall be installed for each forward-facing outboard 
designated seating position in passenger cars does 
not apply to any such seating positions that are 
equipped with an automatic or dynamically tested 
manual seat belt assembly that meets the frontal 
crash protection requirements of 85.1 of Standard 
No. 208 (49 CFR 571.208). 

2. 84.2 of Standard No. 210 is amended by revising 
84.2.1, 84.2.2, and 84.2.4 to read as follows: 

84.2 Strength. 

84.2.1 Except for side-facing seats, the anchor- 
ages, attachment hardware, and attachment bolts 
for any of the following seat belt assemblies shall 
withstand a 5,000-pound force when tested in accor- 
dance with 85.1 of this standard: 

(a) Type 1 seat belt assembly; 

(b) Lap belt portion of either a Type 2 or automatic 
seat belt assembly, if such seat belt assembly is 
voluntarily installed at a seating position; and 

(c) Lap belt portion of either a Type 2 or automatic 
seat belt assembly, if such seat belt assembly is 
equipped with a detachable upper torso belt. 

84.2.2 The anchorages, attachment hardware, and 
attachment bolts for all Type 2 and automatic seat 
belt assemblies that are installed to comply with 
Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 571.208) shall withstand 
3,000-pound forces when tested in accordance with 
85.2. 

* * * 

84.2.4 The anchorages for all designated seating 
positions that face in the same direction and are 
common to the same occupant seat shall be tested by 
simultaneously loading those anchorages in accor- 



PART 571; 8210-PRE 61 



dance with the applicable procedures set forth in S5 
of this standard. 

3. S4.3 of Standard No. 210 is amended by revising 
S4.3.1.1, S4.3.1.2, S4.3.1.3, and S4.3.2, to read as 
follows: 

S4.3 Location. * * * 

54.3.1 Seat belt anchorages for Type 1 seat belt 
assemblies and the pelvic portion of Type 2 seat belt 
assemblies. 

54.3.1.1 In an installation in which the seat belt 
does not bear upon the seat frame: 

(a) If the seat is a nonadjustable seat, then a line 
from the seating reference point to the nearest 
contact point of the belt with the hardware attaching 
it to the anchorage shall extend forward from the 
anchorage at an angle with the horizontal of not less 
than 30 degrees and not more than 75 degi'ees. 

(b) If the seat is an adjustable seat, then a line 
from a point 2.50 inches forward of and 0.375 inches 
above the seating reference point to the nearest 
contact point of the belt with the hardware attaching 
it to the anchorage shall extend forward from the 
anchorage at an angle with the horizontal of not less 
than 30 degrees and not more than 75 degrees. 

54.3.1.2 In an installation in which the belt bears 
upon the seat frame, the seat belt anchorage, if not 
on the seat structure, shall be aft of the rearmost 
belt contact point on the seat frame with the seat in 
the rearmost position. The line from the seating 
reference point to the nearest belt contact point on 
the seat frame, with the seat positioned at the 
seating reference point, shall extend forward from 
that contact point at an angle with the horizontal of 
not less than 30 degrees and not more than 75 
degi'ees. 

54.3.1.3 In an installation in which the seat belt 
anchorage is on the seat structure, the line from the 
seating reference point to the nearest contact point 
of the belt with the hardware attaching it to the 
anchorage shall extend forward from that contact 
point at an angle with the horizontal of not less than 
30 degrees and not more than 75 degrees. 

:f; :}: ^ :i; :^ 

54.3.2 Seat belt anchorages for the upper torso 
portion of Type 2 seat belt assemblies. Adjust the seat 
to its full rearward and downward position and 
adjust the seat back to its most upright position. 
With the seat and seat back so positioned, the seat 
belt anchorage for the upper end of the upper torso 
restraint shall be located within the acceptable 
range shown in Figure 1, with reference to a two- 
dimensional drafting template described in SAE 
Recommended Practice J826 (May 1987). The tem- 
plate's "H" point shall be at the design "H" point of 
the seat for its full rearward and full downward 
position, as defined in SAE Recommended Practice 



JllOO (June 1984), and the template's torso line 
shall be at the same angle from the vertical as the 
seat back. m 

4. S5 of Standard No. 210 is revised to read as I 
follows: ™ 

S5 Test procedures. Each vehicle shall meet the 
requirements of S4.2 of this standard when tested 
according to the following procedures. Where a 
range of values is specified, the vehicle shall be able 
to meet the requirements at all points within the 
range. For the testing specified in these procedures, 
the attachment hardware (including the retractors 
and "D" rings) and the attachment bolts from the 
seat belt assembly installed at a seating position 
shall be used to attach to the anchorage being tested 
material whose breaking strength is equal to or 
greater than the breaking strength of the webbing 
for the seat belt assembly installed as original equip- 
ment at that seating position. The geometry of the 
attachment shall duplicate the geometry of the attach- 
ment of the originally installed seat belt assembly. 

55.1 Seats with Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt anchor- 
ages. With the seat in its rearmost position, apply a 
force of 5,000 pounds in the direction in which the 
seat faces to a pelvic body block as described in 
Figure 2A, restrained by a material whose breaking 
strength is is equal to or greater than the breaking 
strength of the webbing for the seat belt assembly 
installed as original equipment at that seating po- / 
sition, which material is installed so as to duplicate \ 
the geometry of any of the seat belt assemblies 
identified in S4.2.1 of this standard that are in- 
stalled as original equipment at any designated 
seating positions on the seat, in a plane parallel to 
the longitudinal centerline of the vehicle, with an 
initial force application angle of not less than 5 
degrees nor more than 15 degrees above the hori- 
zontal. Apply the force at the onset rate of not more 
than 50,000 pounds per second. Attain the 5,000 
pound force in not more than 30 seconds and main- 
tain it for 10 seconds. At the manufacturer's option, 
the pelvic body block described in Figure 2B may be 
substituted for the pelvic body block described in 
Figure 2A to apply the specified force to the center 
set(s) of anchorages for any group of three or more 
sets of anchorages that are simultaneously loaded in 
accordance with S4.2.4 of this standard. 

55.2 Seats with Type 2 or automatic seat belt 
anchorages. With the seat in its rearmost position, 
apply a force of 3,000 pounds in the direction in 
which the seat faces simultaneously to a pelvic body 
block, as described in Figure 2A, restrained by a 
material whose breaking strength is equal to or 
greater than the breaking strength of the webbing g 
for the seat belt assembly installed as original P 
equipment at that seating position, which material * 
is installed so as to duplicate the geometry of any of 



PART 571; S210-PRE 62 



the seat belt assemblies identified in S4.2.2 of this 
standard that are installed as original equipment at 
any designated seating positions on the seat, in a 
plane parallel to the longitudinal centerline of the 
vehicle, with an initial force application angle of not 
less than 5 degrees nor more than 15 degrees above 
the horizontal. Apply the forces at the onset rate of 
not more than 30,000 pounds per second. Attain the 
3,000 pound forces in not more than 30 seconds and 
maintain it for 10 seconds. At the manufacturer's 
option, the pelvic body block described in Figure 2B 
may be substituted for the pelvic body block de- 
scribed in Figure 2A to apply the specified force to 
the center setCs) of anchorages for any gi'oup of three 
or more sets of anchorages that are simultaneously 
loaded in accordance with S4.2.4 of this standard at 
the onset rate of not more than 30,000 pounds per 



second. Attain the 3,000 pound forces in not more 
than 30 seconds and maintain them for 10 seconds. 
5. The figures in Standard No. 210 are amended by 
revising Figure 1, redesignating Figure 2 as Figure 
2A, and adding a new Figure 2B, to appear as 
follows: 

Issued on April 18, 1990. 



Jeffrey R. Miller 
Deputy Administrator 

55 FR 17970 
April 30, 1990 



PART 571; S210-PRE 63-64 



I 



6.0 In. (162.4 mmH 

riA -i- 



Horizontal Line 

Shoulder Reference Point 
Torso Line 

SAE 2-D Drafting Template 
Design H-Point 










SOdeg.: 



Jm 4-^ IRANGE 




Horizontal Line 



ilGURE 1 - LOCATION OF ANCHORAGE FOR UPPER TORSO RESTRAINT 



r 



^ 



PART571;S210-PRE65 




Notes: 

1 . Block Covered by 
1.00 Med. Density Canvas 
Covered Foam Rubber 

2. All Dimensions in Inches 




Figure 2A Body Block for Lap B«lt Anchorage 




1.94R/^ 
(TYP) 

0.75 Diam. 

Thru Hole ^°"" 



19.5R 




Notes: 

1 . Block Covered by 

1 .00 Med. Density Canvas 
Covered Foam Rubber 

2. All Dimensions in Inches 



Figure 2B Optional Body Block for Center Seating Positions 



PART 571; S210-PRE 66 



I 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 
SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 



Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages 
(Docket No. 87-02; Notice 3) 



ACTION: Final rule; technical amendment. 



> 



SUMMARY: NHTSA recently published a final rule 
that, among other things, clarified the test proce- 
dures used to determine if seats with manual lap/ 
shoulder safety belts or automatic safety belts com- 
ply with the anchorage strength requirements. This 
rule was intended to make clear that the anchorages 
for these safety belts are tested by simultaneously 
applying 3,000 pound forces to the upper torso belt 
and lap belt portions, using specified body blocks to 
apply this load, instead of by simultaneously apply- 
ing a 3,000 pound force to the upper torso belt 
portion and a 5,000 pound force to the lap belt 
portion. However, NHTSA inadvertently omitted the 
requirements for the upper torso belt anchoi'ages 
from this final rule. This notice adds language to 
correct this oversight. 



I 



DATES: The amendment made by this notice takes 
efiect on September 1, 1992. This is the date on 
which the erroneous language in the April 30, 1990 
final rule would have become effective. 



SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 30, 
1990 (55 FR 17970), NHTSA published a final rule 
amending Standard No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly 
Anchorages (49 CFR §571.210). Among other things, 
that rule clarified that the anchorages for manual 
lap/shoulder safety belts and automatic safety belts 
are tested for compliance with the anchorage 
strength requirements by simultaneously applying 
3,000 pound forces to the upper torso and lap belt 
portions of the safety belt, instead of by simulta- 
neously applying a 3,000 pound force to the upper 
torso belt portion and a 5,000 pound force to the lap 
belt portion. However, the final rule inadvertently 
omitted the requirement for applying the 3,000 
pound force to the upper torso belt portion of the 
safety belt. This notice corrects that oversight. 

It was clear that this omission was an oversight, 
because the agency proposed to apply 3,000 pound 
forces simultaneously to the upper torso belt portion 
and the lap belt portion of the safety belt and 



nothing in the preamble to the final rule indicated 
an agency intention to exempt anchorages for the 
upper torso belt portions of safety belts from the 
anchorage strength requirements. Moreover, no com- 
menter suggested that it would be appropriate to 
exempt upper torso belt anchorages for manual 
lap/shoulder belts from the anchorage strength re- 
quirements. Hence, the agency finds for good cause 
that notice and opportunity for comment on this 
correction are unnecessary. The agency also finds 
that this correction should become effective on Sep- 
tember 1, 1992, the date on which the other require- 
ments in the April 30, 1990 final rule will become 
effective. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
§571.210 is amended as follows: 

S5.2 of Standard No. 210 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5.2 Seats with Type 2 or automatic seat belt 
anchorages. With the seat in its rearmost position, 
apply forces of 3,000 pounds in the direction in 
which the seat faces simultaneously to a pelvic body 
block, as described in Figure 2A, and an upper torso 
body block, as described in Figure 3, restrained by a 
material whose breaking strength is equal to or 
greater than the breaking strength of the webbing 
for the seat belt assembly installed as original 
equipment at that seating position, which material 
is installed so as to duplicate the geometry of any of 
the seat belt assemblies identified in S4.2.2 of this 
standard that are installed as original equipment at 
any designated seating positions on the seat, in a 
plane parallel to the longitudinal centerline of the 
vehicle, with an initial force application angle of not 
less than 5 degrees more than 15 degi'ees above the 
horizontal. Apply the forces at the onset rate of not 
more than 30,000 pounds per second. Attain the 
3,000 pound forces in not more than 30 seconds and 
maintain it for 10 seconds. At the manufacturer's 
option, the pelvic body block described in Figure 2B 
may be substituted for the pelvic body block de- 
scribed in Figure 2A to apply the specified force to 



PART 571; S210-PRE 67 



the center set(s) of anchorages for any group of three 
or more sets of anchorages that are simultaneously 
loaded in accordance with S4.2.4 of this standard. £ 



:4c »H :{: }f: ^ 

Issued on June 12, 1990. 



Jeffrey R. Miller 
Deputy Administrator 

55 FR 24240 
June 15, 1990 



PART 571; S210-PRE 68 



PREAMBLE TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 

Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages 

(Docket No. 90-26; Notice 2) 

RIN: 2127-AD44 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule amends Standard No. 210, Seat 
Belt Assembly Anchorages, to clarify the definition of 
"seat belt anchorage." The amended definition expli- 
citly states that any vehicle part or component that 
transfers the load from a safety belt to the vehicle 
structure is part of the anchorage. This amendment will 
ensure that the safety belt system remains attached 
to the vehicle, even when exposed to severe crash 
forces. 

DATES: The amendments made in this rule are effec- 
tive September 1, 1992. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 210, Seat Belt Assembly 
Anchorages, specifies performance requirements for 
safety belt anchorages to reduce the likelihood of the 
anchorage's faOure in a crash. The requirements, which 
apply to passenger cars, trucks, buses, and multipur- 
pose passenger vehicles, specify the forces that an 
anchorage must be capable of withstanding during a 
static strength test. 

On October 31, 1990, the agency published a notice 
of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend 
the definition of "seat belt anchorage" in Standard No. 
210. This notice was initiated in response to questions 
about the scope of Standard No. 210 that had arisen 
during the agency's compliance tests, for example, 
instances when vehicle seats had separated from the 
vehicle floor when testing seat-mounted anchorages 
before the required loads were reached. Since Standard 
No. 210 is intended to ensure that the safety belt 
remains attached to the vehicle, the agency proposed 
a new definition intending to clarify the scope of 
Standard No. 210. The proposed definition was: 

Seat belt anchorage means any component, 
other than the safety belt webbing, involved 
in transferring seat belt assembly loads to 
the vehicle structure, including, but not 



limited to, the attachment hardware, seat 
frames, seat pedestals, the vehicle structure 
itself, and any part of the vehicle whose 
failure causes separation of the belt from the 
vehicle structure. 

NHTSA received 12 comments in response to this 
NPRM. The commenters included seat, seat belt, and 
vehicle manufacturers, a private citizen, and a state 
government. All comments were considered while 
formulating this final rule and the most significant 
comments are addressed below. 

Attachment hardware. Seven commenters, the 
Automotive Occupant Restraints Council [AORC], 
Chrysler Corp. [Chrysler], Ford Motor Company 
[Ford], General Motors Corp. [GM], Mitsubishi Motors 
Corp. [Mitsubishi], Navistar International Transporta- 
tion Corp. [Navistar], and Volkswagen of America, Inc. 
[VW], objected to the inclusion of attachment hardware 
in the definition. Various reasons were given for these 
objections. Ford, GM, Mitsubishi, and VH stated that 
testing attachment hardware under Standard No. 210 
was redimdant because it is already tested under 
Standard No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies. Ford, GM, 
and Mitsubishi stated that the agency had not demon- 
strated a safety need to test attachment hardware 
under Standard No. 210. AORC, Mitsubishi, Ford, and 
VW believe that Standard No. 210 compliance tests 
should be conducted by replacing the original attach- 
ment hardware with fixtures that duplicate their 
geometry, if the tests cannot be completed due to 
failures of the attachment hardware before the re- 
quired loads are reached. Mitsubishi objected because 
the loading of the attachment hardware during the 
Standard No. 210 test was different from the loading 
during an actual crash or the loading during the Stan- 
dard No. 209 test. Finally, AORC objected to the 
inclusion of attachment hardware because this would 
require cooperation between the seat belt manufac- 
turer and the vehicle manufacturer. 



PART 571; S210-PRE 69 



On April 30, 1990, the agency published a final rule 
which, among other things, extended the applicability 
of Standard No. 210 to the attachment hardware of a 
safety belt system (55 FR 17970). The agency received 
three petitions for reconsideration opposing this aspect 
of the final rale. Elsewhere in today's edition of the 
Federal Register the agency has published a response 
to those petitions for reconsideration. 

As explained in that response, the agency agreed 
with the petitioners that the static performance re- 
quirements of Standard No. 210 were unnecessarily 
redundant for the attachment hardware of automatic 
safety belt systems and for the attachment hardware 
of dynamically tested manual safety belt systems which 
are the only occupant restraint at a seating position. 
To reflect this position, that response to the petitions 
for reconsideration excludes the attachment hardware 
for these safety belt systems from the requirements 
of S4.1.1 and S4.1.2 of Standard No. 210. It should be 
noted that, as further explained in that notice, the 
agency does not consider a manual belt installed at a 
seating position that is also equipped with an air bag 
to be dynamically tested. 

The agency disagrees with those commenters that 
asserted that the requirement to test attachment hard- 
ware for manual belts that are not dynamically tested 
under Standard No. 210 is redundant. The agency also 
disagrees that there is no safety need to test attach- 
ment hardware under Standard No. 210. Attachment 
hardware plays an integral part in the transfer of 
safety belt loads to the vehicle structure. The strength 
conditions in Standard No. 210 are intended to subject 
the vehicle anchorage to force levels that are suffi- 
ciently high that one can be i*easonably certain that the 
safety belt will remain attached to the vehicle struc- 
ture even when exposed to severe crash conditions. If 
the attachment hardware were not subjected to those 
same force levels, during the Standard No. 210 
strength test, the test would be less useful. A belted 
occupant will not be well protected in a crash if the 
attachment hardware breaks, but the rest of the an- 
chorage withstands the crash loading. To minimize the 
chances of the attachment hardware breaking during 
a crash, this rule adopts a requirement that attachment 
hardware for non-dynamically-tested manual belts be 
subject to the strength test in Standard No. 210. 

In addition, the agency continues to believe that 
original attachment hardware should be used during 
Standard No. 210 compliance tests for the anchorages 
for all safety belt systems, including those excluded 
from the requirements of S4.1.1 and S4.1.2, in order 
to ensure that the load application onto the anchorage 
is as realistic as possible. The agency has considered 
conducting the compliance tests using replacement fix- 
tures which duplicate the geometry. However, the 
agency is concerned that developing a fixture which 



would accurately simulate every attachment would be 
very difficult. The agency cannot justify devoting the 
time necessary to solve this difficult problem, because 
such a fixture would still be less representative than 
the particular attachment hardware in the vehicle being 
tested. 

The agency also was not persuaded by those com- 
menters who stated that the loading for the Standard 
No. 210 test was different than the loading experience 
in either an actual crash or the Standard No. 209 test. 
The agency has already explained at length that Stan- 
dard No. 210's strength test is not intended to simu- 
late an actual crash condition, but is instead intended 
to be severe enough to ensure that the anchorage is 
unlikely to fail in an actual crash, even a very severe 
crash. For a detailed explanation of this, see 55 FR 
17970, at 17972-17973; April 30, 1990. Thus, NHTSA 
does not consider it a telling point to assert that load- 
ing for the Standard No. 210 strength test is more se- 
vere than loading in a typical crash. 

The agency is also not persuaded by the assertions 
that Standard No. 210's loading is different from that 
in Standard No. 209. This is true and it reflects the 
different purposes of these two standards. Standard 
No. 209 is intended to measure the performance of seat 
belt assemblies as separate pieces of equipment. Stan- 
dard No. 209 assesses the performance of the attach- 
ment hardware only as a part of the seat belt assembly. 

Standard No. 210, however, is a broader assess- 
ment of vehicle performance. It focuses not on any 
individual item of equipment or individual component. 
Instead, the strength test of Standard No. 210 is 
intended to assess the strength of the attachment of 
the seat belt assembly to the vehicle, in order to ensure 
that the belt will remain attached to the vehicle even 
when exposed to severe crash conditions. NHTSA 
believes it is appropriate to measure the performance 
of the attachment hardware at the particular seating 
position in the particular vehicle in which it is installed 
for the purposes of Standard No. 210. as well as the 
generic performance of the attachment hardware 
pursuant to Standard No. 209. 

Finally, the agency is aware that the inclusion of 
attachment hardware in Standard No. 210 may require 
greater coordination between the vehicle manufacturer 
and the safety belt system manufacturer. This was 
partially the intent of this requirement. From a regula- 
tory standpoint, the burden of certifying compliance 
with Standard No. 210 is entirely on the vehicle 
manufacturer, not the safety belt manufacturer. 
However, the agency believes that, since the safety belt 
system is to become an integral part of the vehicle, 
there will be interaction between the safety belt system 
manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer to ensure 
that the restraint will perform as intended. 



PART 571; S210-PRE 70 



For the above reasons, the agency has retained at- 
tachment hardware within the definition of "seat belt 
anchorage." The agency notes that the definition pro- 
posed in the NPRM included the phrase "seat belt 
assembly loads." Since "seat belt assembly" is defined 
differently in Standard No. 209 than was intended 
here, the agency has substituted the term "seat belt 
loads" in the final rule to avoid any possibility of 
confusion. 

Alternate Definitions. 

Two commenters, a private citizen and GM, stated 
that the proposed definition was more ambiguous than 
the existing one. Phrases that were considered ambig- 
uous include; "including, but not limited to," "any part 
of the vehicle structure," and "attachment hardware." 

The agency disagrees with the commenters that 
these phrases make the definition more ambiguous. The 
new definition gives examples of some of the compo- 
nents whose failure would result in non-compliance 
with Standard No. 210, wnthout limiting the scope of 
the definition to those enumerated components. This 
new definition will mean that the failure of any com- 
ponent, other than the safety belt itself during Stan- 
dard No. 210 compliance testing will be considered an 
apparent non-compliance with the standard. 

Americans with Disabilities Act. 

One commenter, a private citizen, stated that the pro- 
posed rulemaking may conflict with the requirement 
to provide accessible vehicles under the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-336, 42 U.S.C. 12101, 
et seq). The commenter stated that the requirements 
should not apply to vehicles equipped with custom or 
special seating for the disabled. The agency has not 
excluded such seating from the requirements of this 
rule. The commenter did not submit any information 
suggesting that it was not feasible for such seating to 
comply with the requirements of this rule. Without 
information that compliance is not feasible, the agency 
believes that customized seating for the disabled should 
provide the same level of occupant protection as is 
provided by standard seating. 

Another commenter, a state government, sup- 
ported the inclusion of the seat structure and pedestal 
in the anchorage definition. This state has required 
safety belts for specialized seating installed for the 
disabled to be anchored directly to the vehicle, rather 
than to the seat, based upon experience with the lack 
of strength of these seats. Under the new definition 
of "seat belt anchorage," this state would no longer 
have to retain this requirement since, if a safety belt 
were anchored to the seat, the seat and its pedestal 
would be considered part of the anchorage and there- 
fore, subject to the strength requirements of Standard 
No. 210. 



Location Requirements. 

Four commenters (Ford, Mitsubishi, VW, and Volvo 
Cars of North America [Volvo]) pointed out that the 
term "seat belt anchorage" is used in two contexts in 
Standard No. 210. First, it is used in S4.2 to identify 
the scope of the standard for performance testing for 
the strength requirements. Second, it is used in S4.3 
to define the reference point for determining compli- 
ance with the location requirements. These commenters 
stated that the new definition will result in confusion 
with regard to determining the location of the 
anchorage. 

The agency admits that this rulemaking had 
focused exclusively on clarifying the definition as it 
applies to the strength requirements of S4.2. The 
agency had not fully considered the effect of the pro- 
posed definition on the anchorage location require- 
ments of S4.3. The agency has reviewed S4.3 to 
determine if the inclusion of attachment hardware in 
the definition of "seat belt anchorage" will confuse the 
means of measuring the location of the anchorage. 
Except as noted below, the agency believes that the 
anchorage locations are specified by means that are not 
distorted by the new definition. For example, S4.3.1.4 
uses the phrase "the vertical centerlines of the bolt 
holes." a location which is constant under both the 
current definition and the definition in this final rule. 

VW stated that, in S4.3.1.1(a) and (b), the words 
"hardware attaching it to the" should be deleted. The 
agency agrees wath VW that these words are super- 
fluous under the new definition. VW also stated that 
references to the anchorage being attached to the seat 
in S4.3.1.3 are inconsistent with the new definition. 
Since the seat would be considered part of the an- 
chorage in this situation, the agency also agrees that 
this section should be revised. The agency finds for 
good cause that notice and opportunity to comment on 
these amendments is not necessary. The changes are 
merely semantic and do not affect the requirements of 
these sections. 

Buckles. 
Three commenters (Chrysler, Ford, and VW) noted 
that, in discussing safety belt buckles in the preamble, 
the agency stated that the definition of "seat belt an- 
chorage" was not intended to include buckles surrounded 
by webbing. These commenters stated that this discus- 
sion did not include less obvious safety belt designs per- 
mitted by Standard No. 209, such as metal straps. 

The agency's intent in the discussion of the NPRM 
preamble was to clarify that the definition of seat belt 
anchorage included only the attachment points of the 
seat belt, and not the webbing, straps or similar device, 
or the buckles which comprise the seat belt itself. This 
discussion was intended to clarify that the phrase 
"other than the safety belt webbing or strap" was not 



PART 571; S210-PRE 71 



intended to imply that the buckle was part of the an- 
chorage. Since the webbing and straps are also involved 
in transferring loads to the vehicle structure, this 
phrase was intended to emphasize that they were not 
included in the anchorage. 

Cross-Reference in 207. 

Ford stated that any enforcement questions about 
the scope of Standard No. 210 for seat-mounted an- 
chorages could be resolved by cross-referencing the re- 
quirement in S4.2(c) of Standard No. 207 with the 
requirement for simultaneous testing in Standard No. 
210. The agency disagrees. The suggested cross- 
reference would not resolve questions that have aris- 
en for seats which are not subject to the requirements 
of Standard No. 207, for example, seats in small school 
buses. The suggested cross-reference would also not 
solve the problem of the number of incomplete tests 
which result when attachment hardware breaks dur- 
ing the Standard No. 210 tests. Hence, the suggested 
cross-reference is not adopted in this rule. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 571.210 
is amended as follows: 

S3 of Standard No. 210 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S3. Definition. "Seat belt anchorage" means any 
component, other than the webbing or straps, involved 
in transferring seat belt loads to the vehicle structure, 
including, but not limited to, the attachment hardware, 
seat frames, seat pedestals, the vehicle structure itself, 
and any part of the vehicle whose failure causes sepa- 
ration of the belt from the vehicle structure. 

3. S4.3 of Standard No. 210 is amended by revising 
S4.3.1.1 and S4.3.1.3 to read as follows: 



S4.3 Location. 

***** 

S4.3 1 .1 In an installation in which the seat belt does 
not bear upon the seat frame: 

(a) If the seat is a nonadjustable seat, then a line 
from the seating reference point to the nearest con- 
tact point of the belt with the anchorage shall extend 
forward from the anchorage at an angle with the 
horizontal of not less than 30 degrees and not more 
than 75 degrees. 

(b) If the seat is an adjustable seat, then a line from 
a point 2.50 inches forward of and 0.375 inches above 
the seating reference point to the nearest contact point 
of the belt with the anchorage shall extend forward 
from the anchorage at an angle with the horizontal of 
not less than 30 degrees and not more than 75 degrees. 



S4.3.1.3 In an installation in which the seat belt 
attaches to the seat structure, the line from the seat- 
ing reference point to the nearest contact point of the 
belt with the hardware attaching it to the seat struc- 
ture shall extend forward from that contact point at 
an angle with the horizontal of not less than 30 degrees 
and not more than 75 degrees. 

Issued on: November 27, 1991. 



Jerry Ralph Curry 
Administrator 

56 F.R. 63682 
December 5, 1991 



PART 571; S210-PRE 72 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 
Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages 

(Docket No. 87-02; Notice 6) 
(Docket No. 90-26; Notice 3) 

RIN 2127-AD43 

RIN 2127-AD44 



210 



ACTION: Final rule; delay of effective date and 
response to petitions for reconsideration. 

SUiWMARY: In response to petitions for 
reconsideration, this final rule amends Standard 
No. 210 to clarify the location for measuring 
compliance with the anchorage location require- 
ments, and to allow for other means of attaching 
the anchorage to the vehicle structure. In addition, 
this final rule extends the effective date for a num- 
ber of recent amendments to Standard No. 210 
one year. These amendments imposed significant 
new requirements which are still not clear to the 
vehicle and equipment manufacturers. This delay 
u ill allow sufficient time for the manufacturers to 
make any necessary changes in their vehicle 
designs to accommodate these new requirements. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 1, 1993. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background 

On April 30, 1990. the agency published a final 
rule amending several requirements of Federal 
motor vehicle safety standard No. 210, Seat belt 
assembly anchorages, (55 F.R. 17970). On 
December 4, 1991, the agency further amended 
Standard No. 210 in response to seven petitions 
for reconsideration of the April 1990 final rule 
(56 F.R. 63676). On the same day, the agency 
also published a final rule clarifying the definition 
of "anchorage" in Standard No. 210 (56 F.R. 
63682). 

As a result of these three final rules, the fol- 
lowing amendments were made to Standard No. 
210— 

1. The definition of "seat belt anchorage" 
was amended to explicitly state that any vehicle 



part or component that transfers the load from a 
safety belt to the vehicle structure is part of the 
anchorage (effective 9/1/92). 

2. The amendment to the definition of "seat 
belt anchorage" had the effect of requiring the 
attachment hardware to withstand the 3,000 pound 
forces during the strength test. While attachment 
hardware for manual safety belts is still affected, 
the attachment hardware for dynamically-tested 
and automatic safety belts was excluded (effective 
9/1/92). 

3. The minimum lap belt angle for front 
seats was increased from 20° to 30° (effective 9/ 
1/92). 

4. The minimum lap belt angle for rear seats 
was increased from 20° to 30° (effective 9/1/93). 

5. Simultaneous testing of all anchorages 
common to a single occupant seat and of anchor- 
ages not common to the same occupant seat but 
within 12 inches of each other was required 
(effective 9/1/92). 

6. The use of a narrower body block during 
strength testing was allowed as an option (effec- 
tive 9/1/92). 

7. Use of wire cable or strong webbing to 
restrain the body block during strength tests was 
allowed (effective 9/1/92). 

8. The term "hip point" was substituted for 
the term "seating reference point" in the defini- 
tion of "outboard designated seating position" 
and for the location of the upper anchorage zone 
(effective 9/1/92) 

9. All redundant anchorage requirements 
were removed (already in effect, as of 4/30/90). 

The agency received four petitions for 
reconsideration of the two December 5, 1991, 
final rules. This notice responds to those petitions. 



PART 571; S210-PRE-73 



Issues 

1. Definition 

The December 5, 1991, final rule amending the 
definition of "seat belt anchorage" in Standard 
No. 210 was intended to make it clear that any 
vehicle part or component that transfers the load 
from a safety belt to the vehicle structure is part 
of the anchorage. The amended definition is — 
"Seat belt anchorage" means any component, 
other than the webbing or straps, involved in 
transferring seat belt loads to the vehicle struc- 
ture, including, but not limited to, the attach- 
ment hardware, seat frames, seat pedestals, the 
vehicle structure itself, and any part of the 
vehicle whose failure causes separation of the 
belt from the vehicle structure. 
In the preamble to the final rule, the agency 
stated that "[t]he new definition gives examples 
of some of the components whose failure would 
result in non-compliance with Standard No. 210, 
without limiting the scope of the definition to 
those enumerated components." 

Both Ford and Toyota petitioned that the defi- 
nition of "seat belt anchorage" be amended by 
adding various components to either the list of 
inclusions or the list of exclusions in the defini- 
tion. The agency already considered the option of 
listing many specific components and decided not 
to take that course of action. The agency believed 
that being too specific would undesirably restrict 
the definition. The agency continues to be hesitant 
to list specific components in the definition of 
anchorage, or conversely, to list components that 
are excluded from this definition, as the definition 
would then deal inadequately with designs not 
contemplated by the agency at the time of draft- 
ing the list. For this reason, the agency is not 
amending the definition of "seat belt anchorage" 
as requested. 

In its petition. Ford has asked whether the D- 
ring is part of the anchorage "[i]n seat belt 
assemblies where the D-ring is attached to the 
structure by a webbing strap." The webbing dis- 
cussed in the final rule as being excluded from 
the definition of "seat belt anchorage" was the 
webbing that encompasses the occupant; not web- 
bing used as attachment hardware. NHTSA 
believes that the attachment hardware should 
include all the equipment that attaches the safety 
belt to the vehicle structure. The safety belt sys- 
tem is tested in Standard No. 209, Seat belt 



assemblies. However, the D-ring and its attach- 
ment are not tested as part of the Standard No. 
209 test. Therefore, the agency considers the D- f 
ring to be part of the safety belt anchorage. ' 

In another question regarding the definition, 
Toyota provided a sketch of a safety belt system 
which has a strap hooked directly to the anchor- 
age bolt. For this design, the agency would con- 
sider it a failure of the Standard No. 210 test if 
the strap pulled away from the bolt. However, if 
the strap failed at the buckle, the agency would 
not consider the failure a non-compliance with the 
strength requirements of Standard No. 210. 

2. Location Requirements 

The only amendment to Standard No. 210 that 
was intended to affect the location requirements 
was the one increasing the minimum lap belt 
angle to 30 degrees. 

Ford and Volkswagen stated that the upper 
anchorage location requirement in S4.3.2 was not 
clear. This section states that the upper anchorage 
must be within a specified zone. With the addi- 
tion of attachment hardware to the definition of 
anchorage. Ford and Volkswagen stated that it is 
not clear what must remain within this zone. 

NHTSA agrees with these petitioners. In ' 
amending Standard No. 210, the agency did not 
intend to change the stringency of the requirement 
for locating upper restraint anchorages. Before the 
addition of attachment hardware to the definition 
of anchorage, the determination of the upper 
anchorage's compliance with the location require- 
ments was made with reference to the upper 
anchorage bolt hole. The agency believes that this 
reference is still appropriate for non-adjustable 
anchorages. Accordingly, NHTSA is amending 
S4.3.2 to state that the center of the anchorage 
bolt hole must be within the upper anchorage 
location zone. 

Several additional location issues were raised 
by Ford and Volkswagen. First, Volkswagen 
requested that the location requirements not ref- 
erence a bolt hole in case the vehicle manufac- 
turer wishes to weld the safety belt attachment 
hardware to the vehicle, instead of using a bolt. 
NHTSA agrees with Volkswagen that reference to 
a bolt hole could be design restrictive. Therefore, 
the agency is amending S4.3.2 to require that 
either "the vertical centerline of the bolt holes, 
or, for designs using other means of attachment to 
the vehicle structure, at the centroid of such 



PART 571; S210-PRE-74 



means" must be in the zone. This amendment 
will accommodate welding or other attachment 
techniques. 

In accommodating welded anchorages, the 
agency wants to note that it and most of the auto- 
motive industry encourage replacement of the 
safety belt system after a moderate crash. Weld- 
ing the safety belt attachment hardware may 
increase the difficulty of replacing safety belt sys- 
tems. Therefore, despite its adoption of the 
amendment to permit other means of attaching the 
safely belt to the vehicle, the agency encourages 
manufacturers to design their belt systems so as 
to facilitate replacement of those systems. 

Second, Ford raised concerns about the location 
requirements for adjustable upper anchorages 
(AU.A.). The agency recognizes adjustable anchor- 
ages may be attached to the vehicle in multiple 
locations, a possibility which is not accommo- 
dated by the language of S4.3.2. To date, the 
agency has interpreted the location provisions as 
requiring that the bolts holding the adjustable 
anchorage must be in the upper anchorage zone. 
However, as stated earlier, the agency did not 
intend all of the attachment hardware for an AUA 
to remain in the zone. Accordingly, the agency is 
amending this final rule, as suggested by Ford in 
its petition for reconsideration, to require that the 
midpoint of the range of all adjustment positions 
remain within the required zone. This amendment 
will only affect rear outboard anchorages in 
vehicles equipped with automatic restraints and 
the front and rear outboard anchorages in the 
small number of vehicles with gross vehicle 
weight rating between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds. 
It will not affect the front outboard anchorages on 
all vehicles equipped with automatic restraints 
since those anchorages are excluded from the 
anchorage location requirements. 

3. Dynamically Tested Safety Belts 

The April 30, 1990 final rule extended the 
applicability of Standard No. 210 to the attach- 
ment hardware of a safety belt system. Respond- 
ing to the petitions for reconsideration, the 
December 5, 1991 final rule excluded the attach- 
ment hardware for seat belt assemblies that meet 
the frontal crash protection requirements of S5.1 
of Standard No. 208. The preamble noted that the 
agency does not consider a manual belt installed 
at a seating position that is also equipped with an 
airbag to be a dynamically tested belt. It stated 



that the attachment hardware for these belts is 
therefore still subject to the Standard No. 210 
strength tests. 

Volkswagen petitioned the agency to reconsider 
its position that manual belts installed at a seating 
position equipped with an airbag arc not dynami- 
cally tested. In the alternative, Volkswagen asked 
that manufacturers be given the option of dynami- 
cally testing these manual belt systems in lieu of 
Standard No. 209 and Standard No. 210 testing. 

The agency believes that this issue has already 
received adequate review, and that the automotive 
industry has had sufficient opportunity to voice 
objection in previous rulemaking actions regard- 
ing this issue. No other petitions have been 
received on this issue. Further, no other petition- 
ers asked to eliminate the existing static strength 
and attachment hardware tests. In addition, Volks- 
wagen has provided no new data or information 
that would support its petition. Therefore, the 
agency has decided that this aspect of Volks- 
wagen's petition for reconsideration should be 
denied. 

Concerning Volkswagen's request that manu- 
facturers be allowed to dynamically test safety 
belts in vehicles with airbags in lieu of required 
compliance with Standards No. 209 and 210, this 
is already an option. Manufacturers may select 
any reasonable basis for deteiTnining compliance 
with safety standard requirements. Therefore, if 
the manufacturer believes that a dynamic test 
would provide a sufficient basis for certifying 
compliance with aspects of Standards No. 209 
and 210, a manufacturer may choose to determine 
compliance using a series of dynamic tests. How- 
ever, the agency would determine compliance by 
means of the static tests specified by Standard 
No. 210. 

4. Leadtime 

The Ford petition stated that if the attachment 
hardware had to be located entirely within the 
anchorage zones, the location of some anchorages 
would have to be changed. This would require 
more time than the time remaining between now 
and September 1. 1992. As explained previously, 
it was not the intent of the agency to include all 
attachment hardware within the location require- 
ments. 

The agency has reviewed the changes in Stand- 
ard No. 210 since the April 1990 final rule and 
the December 1991 final rules (effective Septem- 



PART 571; S210-PRE-75 



ber 1992 and September 1993). The agency 
imposed significant requirements in these amend- 
ments, such as the inclusion of attachment hard- 
ware in the strength test and the addition of test- 
ing more than one set of anchorages at the same 
time. 

It is apparent that many significant issues are 
still not clear to the vehicle and equipment manu- 
facturers. Not only has the agency received these 
four petitions for reconsideration within nine 
months of the effective date, but it also continues 
to receive informal inquiries concerning the 
definitions and the test requirements of these 
changes. Based on this experience, NHTSA 
believes it desirable to extend the effective date 
of these amendments until September 1, 1993. 
This delay applies to the following final rules: 55 
F.R. 17970, April 30, 1990 (except for the 
amendment to S4. 1.3 which was effective April 
30, 1990); 55 F.R. 24240, June 15, 1990: 56 F.R. 
63676, December 5, 1991; and 56 F.R. 63682, 
December 5, 1991. 

This final rule does not have any retroactive 
effect. Under section 103(d) of the National Traf- 
fic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Safety Act: 15 
U.S.C. 1392(d)), whenever a Federal motor 
vehicle safety standard is in effect, a State may 
not adopt or maintain a safety standard applicable 
to the same aspect of performance which is not 
identical to the Federal standard, except to the 
extent that the State requirement imposes a higher 
level of performance and applies only to vehicles 
procured for the State's use. Section 105 of the 
Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1394) sets forth a proce- 
dure for judicial review of final rules establishing, 
amending or revoking Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards. That section does not require 
submission of a petition for reconsideration or 
other administrative proceedings before parties 
may file suit in court. 

S4.3.1.4 of Standard No. 210 is revised to read 
as follows — 



S4.3.1.4 Anchorages for an individual seat belt 
assembly shall be located at least 6.50 inches apart 
laterally, measured between the vertical centerline 
of the bolt holes or, for designs using another 
means of attachment to the vehicle structure, 
between the centroid of such means. 

S4.3.2 of Standard No. 210 is revised to read 
as follows — 

S4.3.2 Seat belt anchorages for the upper 
torso portion of Type 2 seat belt assemblies. 

Adjust the seat to its full rearward and downward 
position and adjust the seat back to its most 
upright position. With the seat and seat back so 
positioned, as specified by subsection (a) or (b) of 
this section, the upper end of the upper torso 
restraint shall be located within the acceptable 
range shown in Figure 1, with reference to a two- 
dimensional drafting template described in SAE 
Recommended Practice J826 (May 1987). The 
template's "H" point shall be at the design "'H" 
point of the seat for its full rearward and full 
downward position, as defined in SAE Rec- 
ommended Practice JllOO (June 1984), and the 
template's torso line shall be at the same angle 
from the vertical as the seat back. 

(a) For fixed anchorages, compliance with this 
section shall be determined at the vertical center- 
line of the bolt holes or, for designs using another 
means of attachment to the vehicle structure, at 
the centroid of suqh means. 

(b) For adjustable anchorages, compliance with 
this section shall be determined at the midpoint of 
the range of all adjustment positions. 



Frederick H. Grubbe 
Deputy Administrator 

57 F.R. 32902 
July 24, 1992 



PART 571; S210-PRE-76 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 210 
Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages— Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger 

Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses 

(Docket No. 2-14; Notice No. 4) 



51. Purpose and scope. This standard estab- 
lishes requirements for seat belt assembly anchor- 
ages to insure their proper location for effective 
occupant restraint and to reduce the iikeUhood of 
their failure. 

52. Application. This standard applies to pas- 
senger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
trucks, and buses. 

53. Definition. Sear belt anchorage means any 
component, other than the webbing or straps, 
involved in transferring seat belt loads to the 
vehicle structure, including, but not limited to, the 
attachment hardware, seat frames, seat pedestals, 
the vehicle structure itself, and any part of the 
vehicle whose failure causes separation of the belt 
from the vehicle structure. 

54. Requirements. 
S4.1 Type. 

54.1.1 Seat belt anchorages for a Type 2 seat belt 
assembly shall be installed for each forward-fac- 
ing outboard designated seating position in pas- 
senger cars, other than convertibles, and for each 
designated seating position for which a Type 2 
seat belt assembly is required by Standard No. 208 
(49 CFR 571.208) in vehicles other than passenger 
cars. Seat belt anchorages for a Type 2 seat belt 
assembly shall be installed for each rear forward- 
facing outboard designated seating position in 
convertible passenger cars manufactured on or 
after September 1 , 1 99 1 . 

54.1.2 Seat belt anchorages for a Type 1 or a 
Type 2 seat belt assembly shall be installed for 
each designated seating position, except a pas- 
senger seat in a bus or a designated seating posi- 
tion for which seat belt anchorages for a Type 2 
seat belt assembly are required by S4.1.1. 



S4.1.3 (a) Notwithstanding the requirement of 
S4.1.1, each vehicle manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1987, that is equipped with an auto- 
matic restraint at the front right outboard des- 
ignated seating position, which automatic restraint 
cannot be used for securing a child restraint sys- 
tem solely through the use of attachment hardware 
installed as an item of original equipment by the 
vehicle manufacturer shall have, at the manufac- 
turer's option, either anchorages for a Type 1 seat 
belt assembly installed at that position or a Type 
1 or Type 2 seat belt assembly installed at the 
position. If a manufacturer elects to install anchor- 
ages for a Type 1 seat belt assembly to comply 
with this requirement, those anchorages shall con- 
sist of, at a minimum, holes threaded to accept 
bolts complying with S4.1(f) of Standard No. 209 
(49 CFR 571.209). 

(b) The requirement in S4.1.1 and S4.1.2 of 
this standard that seat belt anchorages for a Type 
1 or a Type 2 seat belt assembly shall be installed 
for certain designated seating positions does not 
apply to any such seating positions that are 
equipped with a seat belt assembly that meets the 
frontal crash protection requirements of S5.1 of 
Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 571.208). 

S4.2 Strength. 

S4.2.1 Except as provided in S4.2.5, and except 
for side-facing seats, the anchorages, attachment 
hardware, and attachment bolts for any of the fol- 
lowing seat belt assemblies shall withstand a 
5,000-pound force when tested in accordance with 
S5.1 of this standard — 

(a) Type 1 seat belt assembly; 

(b) Lap belt portion of either a Type 2 or auto- 
matic seat belt assembly, if such seat belt assem- 
bly is voluntarily installed at a seating position; 
and 

(c) Lap belt portion of either a Type 2 or auto- 
matic seat belt assembly, if such seat belt assem- 



PART 571; S 210-1 



(Rev. 7/24/92) 



bly is equipped with a detachable upper torso 
belt. 



54.2.2 Except as provided in S4.2.5, the anchor- 
ages, attachment hardware, and attachment bolts 
for all Type 2 and automatic seat belt assemblies 
that are installed to comply with Standard No. 208 
(49 CFR 571.208) shall withstand 3,000-pound 
forces when tested in accordance with S5.2. 

54.2.3 Permanent deformation or rupture of a seat 
belt anchorage or its surrounding area is not 
considered to be a failure, if the required force is 
sustained for the specified time. 

54.2.4 Anchorages, attachment hardware, and 
attachment bolts shall be tested by simultaneously 
loading them in accordance with the applicable 
procedures set forth in S5 of this standard if the 
anchorages are either — 

(a) For designated seating positions that are 
common to the same occupant seat and that face 
in the same direction; or 

(b) For laterally adjacent designated seating 
positions that are not common to the same occu- 
pant seat, but that face in the same direction, if 
the vertical centerline of the bolt hole for at least 
one of the anchorages for one of those designated 
seating positions is within 12 inches of the verti- 
cal centerline of the bolt hole for an anchorage 
for one of the adjacent seating positions. 

54.2.5 The attachment hardware of a seat belt 
assembly, which is subject to the requirements of 
S5.1 of Standard No. 208 (49 CFR 571.208) by 
virtue of any provision of Standard No. 208 (49 
CFR 571.208) by virtue of any provision of Stand- 
ard No. 208 other than S4. 1.2. 1(c)(2) of that 
standard, does not have to meet the requirements 
of S4.2.1 and S4.2.2 of this standard. 

S4.3 Location. As used in this section, "for- 
ward" means in the direction in which the seat 
faces, and other directional references are to be 
interpreted accordingly. Anchorages for seat belt 
assemblies that meet the frontal crash protection 
requirements of S5.1 of Standard No. 208 (49 
CFR Part 571.208) are exempt from the location 
requirements of this section. 



S4.3.1 Seat belt anchorages for Type 1 seat 
belt assemblies and the pelvic portion of Type 
2 seat belt assemblies. 

54.3.1.1 hi an installation in which the seat belt 
does not bear upon the seat frame — 

(a) If the seat is a nonadjustable seat, then a 
line from the seating reference point to the near- 
est contact point of the belt with the anchorage 
shall extend forward from the anchorage at an 
angle with the horizontal of not less than 30 
degrees and not more than 75 degrees. 

(b) If the seat is an adjustable seat, then a line 
from a point 2.50 inches forward of and 0.375 
inch above the seating reference point to the near- 
est contact point of the belt with the anchorage 
shall extend forward from the anchorage at an 
angle with the horizontal of not less than 30 
degrees and not more than 75 degrees. 

54.3.1.2 In an installation in which the belt bears 
upon the seat frame, the seat belt anchorage, if not 
on the seat structure, shall be aft of the rearmost 
belt contact point on the seat frame with the seat 
in the rearmost position. The line from the seating 
reference point to the nearest belt contact point on 
the seat frame, with the seat positioned at the seat- 
ing reference point, shall extend forward from that 
contact point at an angle with the horizontal of not 
less than 30 degrees and not more than 75 
degrees. 

54.3.1.3 In an installation in which the seat belt 
attaches to the seat structure, the line from the 
seating reference point to the nearest contact point 
of the belt with the hardware attaching it to the 
seat structure shall extend forward from that con- 
tact point at an angle with the horizontal of not 
less than 30 degrees and not more than 75 
degrees. 

54.3.1.4 Anchorages for an individual seat belt 
assembly shall be located at least 6.50 inches apart 
laterally, measured between the vertical centerline 
of the bolt holes [or, for designs using another 
means of attachment to the vehicle structure, 
between the centroid of such means. (57 F.R. 
32902— July 24, 1992. Effective: September 1, 
1993.)] 



(Rev. 7/24/92) 



PART 571; S 210-2 



S4.3.1.5 Notwithstanding the provisions of 
S4.3.1.1 through S4.3.1.4. the lap belt angle for 
seats behind the front row of seats shall be 
between 20 degrees and 75 degrees for vehicles 
tnanutactured between September 1, 1992 and 
September 1. 1993. 

S4.3.2 Seat belt anchorages for the upper 
torso portion of Type 2 seat belt assemblies. 

[Adjust the seat to its full rearward and downward 
position and adjust the seat back to its most 
upright position. With the seat and seat back so 
positioned, as specified by subsection (a) or (b) of 
this section, the upper end of the upper torso 
restraint shall be located within the acceptable 
range shown in Figure 1, with reference to a two- 
dimensional drafting template described in SAE 
Recommended Practice J826 (May 1987). The 
template's '"H"" point shall be at the design "H" 
point of the seat for its full rearward and full 
downward position, as defined in SAE Rec- 
ommended Practice JllOO (June 1984), and the 
template's torso line shall be at the same angle 
from the vertical as the seat back. 

(a) For fixed anchorages, compliance with this 
section shall be determined at the vertical center- 
line of the bolt holes or, for designs using another 
means of attachment to the vehicle structure, at 
the centroid of such means. 

(b) For adjustable anchorages, compliance with 
this section shall be determined at the midpoint of 
the range of all adjustment positions. (57 F.R. 
32902— July 24, 1992. Effective: September 1, 
1993.)! 

S5. Test procedures. Each vehicle shall meet 
the requirements of S4.2 of this standard when 
tested according to the following procedures. 
Where a range of values is specified, the vehicle 
shall be able to meet the requirements at all points 
within the range. For the testing specified in these 
procedures, the anchorage shall be connected to 
material whose breaking strength is equal to or 
greater than the breaking strength of the webbing 
for the seat belt assembly installed as original 
equipment at that seating position. The geometry 
of the attachment duplicates the geometry, at the 
initiation of the test, of the attachment of the origi- 
nally installed seat belt assembly. 

S5.1 Seats with Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt 
anchorages. With the seat in its rearmost posi- 
tion, apply a force of 5,000 pounds in the direc- 



tion in which the seat faces to a pelvic body block 
as described in Figure 2A, in a plane parallel to 
the longitudinal centerline of the vehicle, with an 
initial force application angle of not less than 5 
degrees nor more than 15 degrees above the hori- 
zontal. Apply the force at the onset rate of not 
more than 50,000 pounds per second. Attain the 
5,000 pound force in not more than 30 seconds 
and maintain it for 10 seconds. At the manufactur- 
er's option, the pelvic body block described in 
Figure 2B may be substituted for the pelvic body 
block described in Figure 2A to apply the speci- 
fied force to the center set(s) of anchorages for 
any group of three or more sets of anchorages that 
are simultaneously loaded in accordance with 
S4.2.4 of this standard. 

85.2 Seats with Type 2 seat belt anchorages. 

With the seat in its rearmost position, apply forces 
of 3,000 pounds in the direction in which the seat 
faces simultaneously to a pelvic body block, as 
described in Figures 2A, and an upper torso body 
block, as described in Figure 3, in a plane parallel 
to the longitudinal centerline of the vehicle, with 
an initial force application angle of not less than 
5 degrees nor more than 15 degrees above the 
horizontal. Apply the forces at the onset rate of 
not more than 30,000 pounds per second. Attain 
the 3,000-pound forces in not more than 30 sec- 
onds and maintain it for 10 seconds. At the manu- 
facturer's option, the pelvic body block described 
in Figure 2B may be substituted for the pelvic 
body block described in Figure 2A to apply the 
specified force to the center set(s) of anchorages 
for any group of three or more sets of anchorages 
that are simultaneously loaded in accordance with 
S4.2.4 of this standard. 

86. Owner's Manual Information. The owner's 
manual in each vehicle with GVWR of 10,000 
pounds or less, manufactured after September 1, 
1987, shall include— 

(a) A section explaining that all child restraint 
systems are designed to be secured in vehicle 
seats by lap belts or the lap belt portion of a lap- 
shoulder belt. The section shall also explain that 
children could be endangered in a crash if their 
child restraints are not properly secured in the 
vehicle. 

(b) In a vehicle with rear designated seating 
positions, a statement alerting vehicle owners that, 
according to accident statistics, children are safer 



PART 571: S 210-3 



(Rev. 7/24/92) 



when properly restrained in the rear seating posi- 
tions than in the front seating positions. 

(c) In each passenger car, a diagram or dia- 
grams showing the location of the shoulder belt 
anchorages required by this standard for the rear 
outboard designated seating positions, if shoulder 
belts are not installed as items of original equip- 
ment by the vehicle manufacturer at those posi- 
tions. 

S7. Installation instructions. The owner's man- 
ual in each vehicle manufactured on or after Sep- 
tember I, 1987, with an automatic restraint at the 
front right outboard designated seating position 
that caimot be used to secure a child restraint sys- 
tem when the automatic restraint is adjusted to 
meet the performance requirements of S5.1 of 
Standard No. 208 shall have— 

(a) A statement that the automatic restraint at 
the front right outboard designated seating posi- 
tion cannot be used to secure a child restraint and 
as appropriate, one of the following three 
statements — 

(1) A statement that the automatic restraint at 
the front right outboard designated seating posi- 
tion can be adjusted to secure a child restraint 
system using attachment hardware installed as 
original equipment by the vehicle manufacturer; 

(2) A statement that anchorages for installa- 
tion of a lap belt to secure a child restraint sys- 
tem have been provided at the front right out- 
board designated seating position; or 

(3) A statement that a lap or manual lap or 
lap/shoulder belt has been installed by the 
vehicle manufacturer at the front right outboard 
designated seating position to secure a child 
restraint. 

(b) hi each vehicle in which a lap or lap/shoul- 
der belt is not installed at the front right outboard 



designated seating position as an item of original 
equipment, but the automatic restraint at that posi- 
tion can be adjusted by the vehicle owner to 
secure a child restraint system using an item or 
items of original equipment installed in the 
vehicle by the vehicle manufacturer, the owner's 
manual shall also have — 

(1) A diagram or diagrams showing the loca- 
tion of the attachment has hardware provided 
by the vehicle manufacmrer. 

(2) A step-by-step procedure with a diagram 
or diagrams showing how to modify the auto- 
matic restraint system to secure a child restraint 
system. The instructions shall explain the 
proper routing of the attachment hardware. 

(c) In each vehicle in which the automatic 
restraint at the front right outboard designated 
seating position cannot be modified to secure a 
child restraint system using attachment hardware 
installed as an original equipment by the vehicle 
manufacturer and a manual lap or lap/shoulder 
belt is not installed as an item of original equip- 
ment by the vehicle manufacturer, the owner's 
manual shall also have — 

( 1) A diagram or diagrams showing the loca- 
tions of the lap belt anchorages for the front 
right outboard designated seating position. 

(2) A step-by-step procedure and a diagram 
or diagrams for installing the proper lap belt 
anchorage hardware and a T\'pe 1 lap belt at 
the front right outboard designated seating posi- 
tion. The instructions shall explain the proper 
routing of the seat belt assembly and the seat 
belt attachment of the assembly to the lap belt 



anchorages. 



51 F.R. 29552 
August 19, 1986 



PART 571; S 210-4 



(Rev. 7/24/92) 



I> 




6.0 In. (162.4 mm) 
Horizontal Line 

Shoulder Reference Point 
Torso Line 

SAE 2-D Drafting Template 

Design H-Point 



80 dag. 



W ((eg. \ JACCEPTABLE 



IRANGE 



A- 



Horizontal Line 



FIGURE 1 - LOCATION OF ANCHORAGE FOR UPPER TORSO RESTRAINT 



PART 571; S ZIO-ART PAGE 5 




19.5R 



0.75 Diam. 2.00R 
Thru Hole 



5.00 



1.94R 
(TYP) 



-J- Block Covered by 
1.00 Med. Density Canvas 
Covered Foam Rubber 



Figure 2. Body Block for Lap Belt Anchorage 



8.00 R 




^ 



1 .00 Med. Density 
Foam Rubber Over Block 



Figure 3. Body Block for Combination Shoulder and Lap Beit Anchorage 



PART 571; S 210-ART PAGE 6 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 211 

Wheel Nuts, Wheel Discs, and Hub Caps— Passenger Cars and Multipurpose 

Passenger Vehicles 



51. Purpose and scope. This standard pre- 
cludes the use of wheel nuts, wheel discs, and 
hub caps that constitute a hazard to pedestrians 
and cyclists. 

52. Application. This standard applies to pas- 
senger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and 
passenger cars and multipurpose passenger ve- 
hicle equipment. 

53. Requirements. Wheel nuts, hub caps, and 
wheel discs for use on passenger cars and multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles shall not incorporate 
winged projections. 

INTERPRETATION 

A clarification of the term "wheel nut" as used 
in the requirements section S3 of Standard No. 
211 has been requested. This section states that 



"wheel nuts, hub caps, and wheel discs for use on 
passenger cars and multipurpose passenger ve- 
hicles shall not incorporate winged projections." 
A "wheel nut" is an exposed nut that is mounted 
at the center or hub of a wheel, and not the ordi- 
nary small hexagonal nut, one of several which 
secures a wheel to an axle, and which is normally 
covered by a hub cap or wheel disc. 
Issued on July 22, 1969. 



F. C. Turner 

Federal Highway Administrator 



32 F.R. 2416 
February 3, 1967 



(R»v. 7/25/69) 



PART 571; S 211-1-2 



IffccHva: January 1, 1970 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 212 
Windshield Mounting — Passenger Cars 



A proposal to amend Part 371 of the Federal 
Motor "Vehicle Safety Standards by adding a 
Standard No. 212, Windshield Mounting — Pas- 
senger Cars, was published as an advance notice 
of proposed rule making an October 14, 1967 
(32 F.R. 14281) and a notice of proposed rule 
making on December 28, 1967 (32 F.R. 20866). 

Interested persons have been given the oppor- 
tunity to participate in the making of this amend- 
ment, and careful consideration has been given 
to all relevant matter presented. 

This new standard requires that, when tested 
as prescribed, each passenger car windshield 
mounting must retain either: (1) not less than 
75% of the windshield periphery; or (2) not less 
than 50% of that portion of the windshield 
periphery on each side of the vehicle longitudinal 
centerline, if an unrestrained 95th percentile adult 
male manikin is seated in each outboard front 
seating position. 

Several comments objected to the proposed 
standard and in some cases urged that more re- 
search should be done before any type of wind- 
shield mounting is required. The standard, is 
however, part of an integrated program aimed 
at accomplishing the widely accepted safety goal 
of keeping occupants within the confines of the 
passenger compartment during a crash. One 
major step in this program is the utilization of 
the laminated glazing material prescribed in 
Federal motor vehicle safety standard No. 205, 
which has resulted in a marked reduction in 
serious head injury to occupants known to have 
struck the windshield. The windshield mounting 
retention requirement prescribed in this standard 
takes advantage of this improved glazing ma- 
terial and will further minimize the likelihood 



of occupants being thrown from the vehicle 
during a crash. 

Several comments requested reduction of the 
75% retention requirement to 50%. The Admin- 
istrator concludes that, as an alternative, 50% 
retention is acceptable if: (1) an unrestrained 
95% percentile adult male manikin is seated in 
each outboard front seating position when the 
test procedure is performed, and (2) at least 
50% of that portion of the windshield periphery 
on each side of the vehicle longitudinal centerline 
is retained. 

Several comments requested that the phrase 
"or approved equivalent" be added to the "Dem- 
onstration procedures" provision. § 371.11 of the 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards provides 
that "an approved equivalent may be substituted 
for any required destructi\e demonstration pro- 
cedure." Consequently, inclusion of the phrase 
requested is not necessary. 

In consideration of the foregoing, § 371.21, of 
Part 371 of the Federal motor vehicle safety 
standards is amended by adding Standard No. 
212. "Windshield Mounting — Passenger Cars," as 
set forth below, effective January 1, 1970. 

This rule-making action is taken under the 
authority of sections 103 and 119 of the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 
(P.U 89-563, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1392 and 1407) and 
the delegation of authority contained in Part 1 
of the Regulations of the Office of the Secretary 
of Transportation (49 CFR Part 1). 

Issued in Washington, D.C. on August 13, 1968. 

John R. Jamieson, Deputy 
Federal Highway Administrator 

33 F.R. 11652 
August 16, 1968 



PART 571; S 212— PRE 1-2 



t 



a 



C% 



Effective; September 1, 1977 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 212 

Windshield Mounting 
(Docket No. 69-29; Notice 5) 



This notice amends Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 212, 49 CFR 571.212, Windshield 
Mounting^ to extend its applicability to multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles, tracks, and buses hav- 
ing a gross vehicle weight rating (GVIVR) of 
10,000 pounds or less, except for forward control 
vehicles and open-body type vehicles with fold- 
ing or removable windshields, and to coordinate 
its test procedures with those of Standard No. 
208. 49 CFR 571.208, Occupant Crash Protection. 

An advance notice of proposal rulemaking was 
published September 16, 1969 (34 FR 14438). 
followed by notices of proposed rulemaking pub- 
lished on August 23, 1972 (37 FR 16979) and 
January 18, 1974 (39 FR 2274). This notice is 
based on the latter notice of proposed rulemak- 
ing, and responds to the comments submitted 
thereto. 

The final rule retains the proposed rule's ex- 
tension to multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, 
and buses having a gross vehicle weight rating 
(G"\^Tl) of 10,000 pounds or less. However, 
forward control vehicles and open-body vehicles 
with fold-down windshields are excluded from 
the application of the standard because of the 
impracticability of complying with the require- 
ments. 

Many manufacturers objected to the require- 
ment in the proposal that the dummies used in 
the test vehicle not be restrained by active re- 
straint systems. Upon impact in a crash test, 
unrestrained dummies tend to fly about the pas- 
senger compartment, damaging the dummies. 

In 1972 the NHTSA proposed the amendment 
of Standard No. 212 (37 FR 16979) to specify 
a 75 percent retention requirement using re- 
strained dummies. The purpose of the proposal 
was to eliminate optional retention requirements 



and to permit dynamic testing consistent with 
other safety standards. In 1974 another ap- 
proach was taken with the NHTSA proposing 
(39 FR 2274) a 50 percent retention requirement 
using unrestrained dummies, in anticipation of 
the passive restraint requirements that were to 
be included in Standard No. 208. Having the 
benefit of a large number of comments on both 
proposals the NHTSA has determined that both 
are suitable, the 1972 approach for vehicles 
equipped with active restraints, where dmrnny 
damage would be great if the dummy were un- 
restrained, and the 1974 approach for vehicles 
equipped with passive restraints, since the dummy 
would not contact the windshield. 

The frontal barrier crash test conditions speci- 
fied in the final rule are substantially similar 
to those of Standard No. 208, Occupant Crash 
Protection^ Standard No. 219, Windshield Zone 
Intrusion, and Standard No. 301, Fuel System 
Integrity. This will allow compliance testing 
for these standards in one crash test under cer- 
tain circumstances. In tliis way, much of the 
expense associated with crash tasting can be 
reduced. 

Most of the manufacturers who commented on 
the proposal objected to the requirement that 
the vehicle be tested at a temperature range of 
15° F to 110° F. Some manufacturers objected 
that the higher temperatures would damage sen- 
sitive instrumentation. Others argued that the 
range should be coordinated with that of Stand- 
ard No. 301 (49 CFR 571.301) or with ISO regu- 
lations. Some asserted that tliey would have to 
build expensive test facilities in order to conduct 
tests at the temperature extremes. The NHTSA 
has determined that te^sting over the specified 
range is necessaiy, in light of the fact that wind- 



PART 571; S 212— PRE 3 



Effective: September 1, 1977 

shield moldings have significantly different reten- Effective date: September 1, 1977. 

tion capabilities at different temperatures. The (Sec. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89563, 80 Stat. 718 (15 

NHTSA recognizes that certain additional ex- U.S.C. 1392, 1407) ; delegation of authority at 

penses may be entailed in testing over the speci- 49 CFR 1.50) 

fied temperature range. However, the safety Issued on : August 23, 1976. 
need to ensure adequate windshield retention 

justifies the additional expense. Jolin W. Snow 

In consideration of the foregoing, Standard Admmistrator 

No. 212, 49 CFR 571.212, is amended to read as 41 F.R. 36493 

set forth below. August 30, 1976 



d 



is 



{ 



PART 571; S 212— PRE 4 



Effective: August 4, 1977 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 212 

Windshield Mounting 
(Docket No. 69-29; Notice 6) 



This notice responds to nine petitions for re- 
consideration of a recent amendment (41 FR 
36493, August 30, 1976) of Safety Standard No. 
212, Windshield M minting, by extending the effec- 
tive date of the amendment from September 1, 
1977, to September 1, 1978, and by excluding 
"walk-in van-type" vehicles from the standard's 
applicability. Other aspects of the petitions for 
reconsideration are denied. 

Dates: The amendment of August 30, 1976, 
will be effective September 1, 1978. The change 
in the effective date and the amendment to ex- 
clude "walk-in van-type" vehicles from the stand- 
ard's applicability should be changed in the text 
of the Code of Federal Regulations, effective 
August 4, 1977. 

For Further Information Contact: 
Robert Nelson 

National Highway Traffic Safety Admin- 
istration 
Washington, D.C. 20590 
(202 426-2802) 

Supplementary Information: Safety Standard 
No. 212, Windshield Mounting (49 CFR Part 
571.212), was amended August 30, 1976, to mod- 
ify the performance requirements and test pro- 
cedures of the standard and to extend the 
standard's applicability to multipurpose passen- 
ger vehicles, trucks, and buses liaving a gross 
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. 
Petitions for reconsideration were received from 
International Harv^ester (IH), Jeep Corporation, 
American Motors Corporation (AMC), Volvo of 
America Corporation, Toyo Kogyo Co., General 
Motors Corporation (GM), Rolls Royce Motors, 
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., and Leyland Cars. 

Requests from some of these petitioners that 
the new provisions of Standard No. 212 (49 



CFR 571.212) be withdrawn entirely are hereby 
denied, but several modifications are imdertaken 
by the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin- 
istration (NHTSA), based on a review of the 
information and argiunents submitted. 

Nearly all of the petitioners requested that the 
effective date of the new provisions be changed 
from September 1, 1977, to September 1, 1978. 
Petitioners argued that a lead time of one year 
will be insufficient to accomplish design changes 
and retooling necessary to adapt passenger-car 
windshield technology' to other vehicle types. 
Petitioners also pointed out that the specifica- 
tion of a temperature range in the test conditions 
will require manufacturers to undertake more 
extensive certification testing than in the past. 

The NHTSA has determined that the requests 
for additional lead time are justified in light of 
the information submitted regarding design 
changes that some manufacturers will undertake. 
The petitions are, therefore, granted in part and 
the effective date of the new provisions is post- 
poned to September 1, 1978. 

In conformity with the agency's 1972 and 
1974 proposals (37 FR 16979, August 23, 1972) 
(39 FR 2274, January 18, 1974), an optional 
means of meeting the retention requirement (that 
exists in the present provisions) was eliminated 
by the August 30, 1976, amendments. TMs was 
done to reduce the amount of necessary com- 
pliance testing and to encourage "simultaneous" 
certification testing of separate standards where 
practicable. As proposed in 1972, the "75-per- 
cent alternative" (retention of 75 percent of the 
windshield periphery — dummies properly re- 
strained) was made mandatory for al veliicles 
not equipped with passive restraints. In this 
way, windshield retention tests could be per- 



PART 571; S 212— PRE 5 



EfFecHve: August 4, 1977 



formed at the same time as tests already required 
for fuel system integrity (49 CFE 571.301-75) 
that specify restrained dummies. 

While some additional weight is added to the 
vehicle by the required dummies, it is the mini- 
mum necessary to permit "simultaneous" testing, 
and the dummies are restrained so that there is 
only incidental, if any, contact with the wind- 
shield. Thus, the "75-percent alternative" spec- 
ified in the amendments is, basically, a 
continuation of the existing requirement that 
manufacturers have been meeting for years. 

The 1974 proposal to adopt the "50-percent 
option" (retention of 50 percent of the wind- 
shield periphei-y on each side of the windshield — 
dummies unrestrained) was vigorously objected 
to by manufacturers because of the damage that 
could occur to dununies during impact with the 
windshield. Also, the fuel system integrity 
standard was made final in a form that required 
restraining the dummies by safety belts if pro- 
vided. It was apparent that the "50-percent 
option" should only become mandatory as pro- 
posed for vehicles equipped with passive re- 
straint systems that could protect the dummy 
against impact damage. In the case of air cush- 
ion restraint systems, of course, some contact 
with the windshield by the cushion or incidental 
contact by the dununy is expected during the 
crash test. For this reason, the somewhat less 
stringent "50-percent option" was made final for 
vehicles equipped with passive restraints. 

AMC argued that this distinction between ve- 
hicles is unjustified. The only reason put for- 
ward by AMC was that "dummy impact is not 
a critical factor in determining windshield re- 
tention." This reason does not, however, support 
the AMC request for a reduction in retention 
performance from the 75-percent level presently 
being met. Kather, it argues for an increase in 
the 50-percent level established for those ve- 
hicles in which the NHTSA estimated that 
dummy and restraint contact could affect results. 
If AMC believes that the distinction is not justi- 
fied, the agency will review further evidence to 
increase the 50-percent requirement (for passive- 
equipped vehicles) to the 75-percent level pres- 
ently being met in most of today's passenger 
cars. 



Several commenters objected that the final rule 
differed in some respects from the 1972 and 1974 
proposals to amend Standard No. 212, taken 
separately. AMC, Volvo, and Jeep petitioned to 
revoke the separate retention requirements for 
vehicles with different restraint systems, on the 
grounds that such a distinction had never been 
proposed. Jeep Corporation also objected to ex- 
tension of the standard's applicability to MPV's, 
tracks, and buses because of variations in lan- 
guage from the proposals. 

As earlier noted, the requirement for 75-per- 
cent retention conforms to the 1972 proposal. 
The only variation from the 1972 proposal was 
to implement the performance levels proposed 
in 1974 for the vehicles that might be equipped 
with passive restraints. It is the agency's view 
that "a description of the subjects and issues 
involved" in the rulemaking action was published 
in the Federal Register as required by the Ad- 
ministrative Procedure Act (the Act) (5 U.S.C. 
§ 553(b) (2)), iJermitting opportunity for com- 
ment by interested persons. A reading of the 
cases on this provision of the Act supports the 
agency's view. 

Volvo's petition objected to the fact that the 
amendments specify the use of restrained dum- 
mies in the test procedures. Volvo stated that 
unrestrained dummies should l)e used because in 
actual crash conditions it is the head of an un- 
restrained occupant that is most likely to impact 
and substantially load the windshield, since the 
liead of a restrained occupant would not nor- 
mally contact the windshield. 

While Volvo's statement is true, it must be 
understood that test procedui'es specified in the 
standards cannot simulate every element of ac- 
tual crash conditions. Rather, the procedures 
are based on a variety of considerations, includ- 
ing test expense and degree of complexity. 
There were many comments to the prior notices 
proposing the amendments in question that 
urged the use of restrained diunmies, due to the 
possibility of damage to the expensive dummies 
during the barrier crash tests. These comnients 
were taken into consideration prior to issuance 
of the final rule. Also, the NHTSA concluded 
that the vehicle deceleration forces are the pri- 
mary forces affecting windshield retention and 



PART 571; S 212— PRE 6 



Effective: August 4, 1977 



not the impact of occupants with the windshield. 
The restrained dunomies are required, primarily, 
for purposes of pennitting simultaneous testing. 
The XHTSA concludes that the retention i-e- 
quirements and test procedures specified in the 
amendments will ensure that vehicles are equipped 
with windshields that provide the needed pro- 
tection for occupant safety. 

Volvo's petition also argued that Standard No. 
212 "must include a measurement procedure that 
weights the various segments of the windshield 
periphery in a teclinically accurate maner." 
Volso points to tests it has conducted which in- 
dicate that "when the unrestrained occupant's 
head impacts and substantially loads the wind- 
sliield, the loading will most likely occur in the 
windshield's upper regions and iwt uniformly 
throughout the windsliield." 

"VAliile it is recognized that the degree of dis- 
lodging of the windshield from its mounting 
may vary at different locations around the pe- 
ripherj- of the windshield, sufficient information 
is not available on which to base varv'ing re- 
tention requirements (for different areas of the 
windshield). Further, the specification of reten- 
tion requirements in the terms suggested by 
Volvo was not proposed by the agency in 1972 
or 197-1. This aspect of Volvo's petition is there- 
fore denied. 

Several petitioners objected to the specifica- 
tion of a temperature range in the test conditions 
and asked tliat this provision be withdrawn. 
Rolls Royce Motors argued that the amendment 
will require additional tests to determine the 
most critical temperature for windshield reten- 
tion and stated that this would greatly increase 
the burden on low-volume manufacturers. Gen- 
eral Motors and Jeep Corporation stated that 
the expansion of the test requirements over a 
wide temperature range adds to the stringency 
of the standard without any evidence of a safety 
need. American Motors petitionexl to remove 
the 15°F to 110°F temperature range from the 
barrier test conditions on the basis that "it was 
not specified as a barrier test condition in the 
proposal for rulemaking," and on the basis that 
there are laboratory tests that can serve the 
same purpose. 

The XHTSA denies all petitions to withdraw 
the temperature range from the standard. As 



stated in the preamble to the final rule, testing 
over the specified range is necessary in light of 
the fact that windshield moldings liave sig- 
nificantly different retention capabilities at dif- 
ferent temperatures. This fact was graphically 
confirmed by NHTSA compliance testing in 
which windshields retained at low temperatures 
were dislodged at higher temperatures (in iden- 
tical vehicles). Concerning the objection of 
American Motors, the temperature range was 
proposed in paragraph S4 of the 1974 proposal 
to amend Standard No. 212 (39 FR 2274). 

General Motors recommended that the tem- 
perature range be revised to specify 66°F to 
78°F limits, to coordinate the Standard 212 test 
with the calibration conditions for the Part 572 
dummy. General Motors argued that this would 
reduce the number of barrier crash tests that 
would be required. 

The NHTSA rejects this recommendation. 
The Part 572 dummies are conditioned in the 
66°F-78°F temperature range for calibration 
purposes in those standards in which the dy- 
namic dummy response is part of the require- 
ments of the standard. Since the response of 
the dummy is not directly involved in the per- 
formance requirements of Standard No. 212, the 
temperature of the dummies is not significant. 
Therefore, it is not necessary to restrict the 
temperature range of Standard No. 212 to cor- 
respond to the calibration temperature range of 
the Part 572 dummies. For purposes of simul- 
taneous testing, manufacturers could devise a 
means to control the immediate environment of 
the test dummy within the 66°F-78°F calibra- 
tion temperature range, independent of the tem- 
perature range specified in Standard No. 212. 

General Motors also argued that there could 
be considerable variation in vehicles condition 
and test results, depending on when and where 
the vehicle is tested, since there could be an air 
temperature of 110°F while windshield com- 
ponents are at a much higher temperature due 
to "sun load." General Motors, therefore, re- 
quested that the temperature requirement be 
clarified to specifv' that the temperature of the 
entire vehicle be stabilized between 15°F and 
110°F prior to the test. 

The NHTSA does not intend that vehicles be 
tested with the windshield components at tem- 



PART 571; S 212— PRE 7 



Effective: August 4, 1977 



peratures higher than 110°F. For purposes of 
clarification, paragraph S6.5 of the new provi- 
sions is revised to specify that the windsliield 
mounting material, and all vehicle components 
in direct contact with the mounting material are 
to be at any temperature between 15°F and 
110°F. Presumably this could be accomplished 
by localized heating or cooling of the vehicle 
components or by any other method chosen, in 
the exercise of due care, by a manufacturer. 

The August 1976 amendments to Standard 
No. 212 modified the application section to in- 
clude multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks 
and buses having a gross weight rating of 10,000 
pounds or less. "Open-body type" veliicles and 
"forward control" vehicles were excluded be- 
cause of the impracticability of applying the 
barrier crash test to these vehicles. General 
Motors has pointed out that the NHTSA failed 
to exclude "walk-in van-type" vehicles, which 
have essentially the same configuration and 
amount of front-end crush space as forward con- 
trol vehicles. 

The NHTSA recently addressed this same 
issue in connection with Standard No. 219, 



Windshield Zone Intrusion, and, in the absence 
of any objections, amend that standard to ex- 
clude walk-in van-type veliicles (41 FR 54945, 
December 16, 1976). On reconsideration of the 
extended applicability of Standard No. 212 to 
these vehicles, the agency concludes that the 
same rationale applies. Accordingly, applica- 
bility of Standard No. 212 to walk-in van-type 
vehicles is withdrawn. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the effective 
date of the amendment to Standard No. 212 (49 
CFR 571.212) published August 30, 1976 (41 
FR 36493) is changed from September 1, 1977, 
to September 1, 1978, and paragraphs S3 and 
S6.5 of that text are modified. . . . 

(Sec. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 
(15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407) ; delegation of authority 
at 49 CFR 1.50.) 

Issued on June 29, 1977. 

Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 

42 F.R. 34288 
July 5, 1977 



( 



PART 571; S 212— PRE 8 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY 

STANDARD NO. 212 

Windshield Mounting; Windshieid Zone Intrusion 
(Docitet No. 79-14; Notice 02) 



ACTION: Final Rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends two safety 
standards, Standard No. 212, Windshield 
Mounting, and Standard No. 219, Windshield Zone 
Intrusion, to limit the maximum unloaded vehicle 
weight at which vehicles must be tested for 
compliance with these standards. This action is 
being taken in response to petitions from the Truck 
Body and Equipment Association and the National 
Truck Equipment Association asking the agency to 
amend the standards to provide relief from some of 
the test requirements for final-stage manufacturers. 
Many of these small manufacturers do not have the 
sophisticated test devices of major vehicle 
manufacturers. The agency concludes that the 
weights at which vehicles are tested can be lessened 
while providing an adequate level of safety for 
vehicles such as light trucks and while ensuring that 
compliance with these standards does not increase 
their aggressivity with respect to smaller vehicles. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: Since this amendment relieves 
a restriction by easing the existing test procedure 
and will not impose any additional burdens upon 
any manufacturer, it is effective (upon 
publication). 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Mr. William Smith, Crashworthiness Division, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis- 
tration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-2242) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

On August 2, 1979, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration pubHshed a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (44 FR 45426) relating to two 
safety standards: Standard Nos. 212, Windshield 



Mounting, and 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion. 
That notice proposed two options for amending the 
test procedures of the standards that were designed 
to ease the compliance burdens of small final-stage 
manufacturers. 

The agency issued the proposal after learning that 
final-stage manufacturers were frequently unable to 
certify certain vehicles in compliance with these two 
safety standards. The problem arises because of 
weight and center of gravity restrictions imposed 
upon the final-stage manufacturer by the incomplete 
vehicle manufacturer. (The final-stage manufacturer 
typically purchases an incomplete vehicle from an in- 
complete vehicle manufacturer, usually Ford, 
General Motors or Chrysler.) The incomplete vehicle 
usually includes the windshield and mounting but 
does not include any body or work-performing equip- 
ment. Since the incomplete vehicle manufacturer 
installs the windshield, it represents to the final-stage 
manufacturer that the windshield will comply with 
the two subject safety standards. In making this 
representation, however, the incomplete vehicle 
manufacturer states that the representation is con- 
tingent on the final-stage manufacturer's adherence 
to certain restrictions. Any final-stage manufacturer 
that does not adhere to the restrictions imposed by 
the incomplete vehicle manufacturer must recertify 
the vehicle based upon its own information, analysis, 
or tests. The major restrictions imposed by the 
incomplete vehicle manufacturers on the final-stage 
manufacturer involve weight and center of gravity 
limitation. In many instances, these limitations have 
made it impossible for final-stage manufacturers 
either to rely on the incomplete vehicle 
manufacturer's certification or to complete vehicles 
on the same chassis that they were accustomed to 
using (prior to the extension of the two safety 
standards to these vehicle types). As a result, the 
final-stage manufacturer is faced either with buying 



PART 571; S 212-PRE 9 



the same chassis as before and recertifying them 
or with buying more expensive chassis with higher 
GVWR's and less stringent weight and center of 
gravity limitations. 

The agency has tried several different ways to 
alleviate this problem for the final-stage 
manufacturer. The NHTSA has met with 
representatives of the major incomplete vehicle 
manufacturers to encourage them to respond 
voluntarily by strengthening their windshield 
structures and reducing the restrictions that they 
currently impose upon final-stage manufacturers. 
The agency also discussed the possibility of its 
mandating these actions by upgrading Standards 
Nos. 212 and 219. Ford and General Motors 
indicated that the making of any major changes in 
these standards could lead to their deciding to 
discontinue offering chassis for use in the 
manufacturing of multi-stage vehicles. They said 
that such chassis were a very small percentage of 
their light truck sales and that, therefore, they 
would not consider it worth the cost to them to 
make any extensive modifications in their vehicles. 
NHTSA also asked the incomplete vehicle 
manufacturers to be sure that they have properly 
certified their existing vehicles and that they are 
not imposing unnecessarily restrictive limitations 
upon final-stage manufacturers. To this agency's 
knowledge, these vehicle manufacturers have 
neither undertaken any strengthening of their 
vehicles' windshield structures nor lessened any of 
their restrictions. 

At the same time that the agency was made 
aware of the final-stage manufacturers' problems 
of certifying to these standards, the agency was 
becoming concerned about the possibility that 
compliance of some light trucks and vans with 
these standards might have made the vehicles 
more aggressive with respect to smaller passenger 
cars that they might impact. According to agency 
information, if these standards require a 
substantial strengthening of vehicle frames, the 
aggressivity of the vehicles is increased. 
Therefore, as a result of the agency's concern 
about aggressivity and its desire to address the 
certification problems of final-stage manufacturers 
in a manner that would not lead to a cessation of a 
chassis sales to those manufacturers, the agency 
issued the August 1979 proposal. The agency 
hoped that the proposal would allow and encourage 
incomplete vehicle manufacturers to reduce their 



weight and center of gravity restrictions, thereby 
easing or eliminating the compliance test burdens 
of final-stage manufacturers. The agency believed 
that this could occur using either option, because 
either would result in vehicles being tested at 
lower weights. Currently vehicles are tested under 
both standards at their unloaded vehicle weights 
plus 300 pounds. 

The first option would have required some 
vehicles whose unloaded vehicle weights exceeded 
4,000 pounds to be tested by being impacted with a 
4,000 pound moving barrier. The second option 
proposed by the agency would have required 
vehicles to be tested at their unloaded vehicle 
weight up to a maximimi unloaded vehicle weight 
of 5,500 pounds. This option was suggested to the 
agency by several manufacturers and manufac- 
turer representatives. 

Comments on Notice 

In response to the agency's notice, nine 
manufacturers and manufacturer representatives 
submitted comments. All of the commenters 
supported some action in response to the problems 
of final-stage manufacturers. Most of the 
commenters also suggested that the agency's 
second alternative solution was more likely to 
achieve reductions in the restrictions being 
imposed by incomplete vehicle manufacturers. The 
first option would have created a new, unproven 
test procedure, and manufacturers would have 
been cautious in easing center of gravity or weight 
restrictions based upon this test procedure. 
Accordingly, most commenters were not sure that 
the first option would achieve the desired results. 
The consensus was, therefore, that the second 
option should be adopted. 

Some manufacturers recommended that both 
options be permitted allowing the manufacturer to 
decide how to test its vehicles. The agency does not 
agree with this recommendation. Not only would it 
be more difficult and expensive to enforce a 
standard that has alternative test procedures, but 
most manufacturers prefer the 5,500 pound weight 
limit option. The NHTSA concludes that as a result 
of the comments supporting the 5,500 pound 
maximum test weight, that this is an acceptable 
procedure for testing compliance with these two 
standards. Therefore, the standards are amended 
to incorporate this procedure. 



PART 571; S 212-PRE 10 



The major incomplete vehicle manufacturers 
commenting on the notice suggested that testing 
vehicles at a maximum weight of 5,500 pounds 
might provide some immediate relief. None of the 
major incomplete vehicle manufacturers provided 
any information concerning how substantial that 
relief might be. Ford indicated that any relief 
might be limited. 

The agency believes that the incomplete vehicle 
manufacturers must accept the responsibility for 
establishing reasonable restrictions upon their 
incomplete vehicles. The NHTSA has not been 
provided with sufficient evidence substantiating 
the statements of the incomplete vehicle 
manufacturers that their existing restrictions are 
reasonable. In fact, some evidence indicates that 
unnecessarily stringent restrictions are being 
imposed because incomplete vehicle manufacturers 
do not want to conduct the necessary testing to 
establish the appropriate weight and center of 
gravity restrictions. Since this amendment should 
reduce the severity of the test procedures, the 
agency concludes that incomplete vehicle 
manufacturers should immediately review their 
certification test procedures and reduce the 
restrictions being passed on to final-stage 
manufacturers. 

Due to changes in the light truck market, there is 
reason to believe that the incomplete vehicle 
manufacturers wOl be more cooperative than when 
the agency spoke to them before beginning this 
rulemaking. At that time, light truck sales were 
still running well. Now that these sales are down, 
these manufacturers may be more solicitous of the 
needs of the final-stage manufacturers. If relief is 
not provided by the incomplete vehicle 
manufacturers, then the agency will consider 
taking additional steps, including the upgrading of 
Standards Nos. 212 and 219 as they apply to all 
light trucks. 

General Motors (GM) questioned one of the 
agency's rationales for issuing the notice of 
proposed rulemaking. GM stated that the agency 
concludes that this action will provide a more 
appropriate level of safety for the affected vehicles 
while the initial extension of these standards to the 
affected vehicles provides, in GM's view, only a 
slight increase in the level of safety of the vehicles. 
GM indicates that since the application of these 
standards to the affected vehicles provides only 
slight benefits and since this amendment will 



reduce those benefits, the standards should not 
apply to light trucks and vans. The agency 
disagrees with this suggestion. 

The agency is currently reviewing the 
applicability of many of its safety standards to 
determine whether they ought to be extended to 
light trucks and other vehicles. Accident data 
clearly indicate the benefits that have resulted 
from the implementation of safety standards to 
cars. The fatality rate for passenger cars has 
decreased substantially since the implementation 
of a broad range of safety standards to those 
vehicles. On the other hand, light trucks and vans 
have not had a corresponding reduction in fatality 
rates over the years. The agency attributes much 
of this to the fact that many safety standards have 
not been applied to those vehicles. Since those 
vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as 
passenger vehicles, the agency concludes that 
safety standards must apply to them. 

In response to GM's comment that this reduction 
in the test requirements for Standard Nos. 212 and 
219 will remove all benefits derived by having the 
standards apply to those vehicles, the agency 
concludes that GM has misinterpreted the effects 
of this amendment. This amendment will reduce 
somewhat the compliance test requirements for 
those light trucks and vans with unloaded vehicle 
weights in excess of 5,500 pounds. It will not affect 
light trucks with unloaded vehicle weights below 
5,500 pounds. According to agency information, 
approximately 25 percent of the light trucks have 
unloaded vehicle weights in excess of 5,500 while 
the remainder fall below that weight. As a result of 
weight reduction to improve fuel economy, it is 
likely that even more light trucks will fall below the 
5,500 pound maximum test weight in the future. 
Therefore, this amendment will have no impact 
upon most light trucks and vans. In light of the 
small proportion of light trucks and vans affected 
by this amendment and considering the potential 
benefits of applying these standards to all light 
trucks and vans, the agency declines to adopt GM's 
suggestion that the standards be made inapplicable 
to these vehicles. 

With respect to GM's question about the 
appropriate level of safety for light trucks, the 
agency's statement in the notice of proposed 
rulemaking was intended to show that the safety of 
light trucks and vans cannot be viewed without 
considering the relative safety of lighter vehicles 



PART 571; S 212-PRE 11 



that they may impact. Accordingly, the level of 
safety that the agency seeks to achieve by this and 
other safety standards is determined by balancing 
the interests of the occupants of passenger cars 
and heavier vehicles. 

GM also questioned the agency's statement that 
vehicle aggressivity may be increased by imposing 
too severe requirements on these vehicles. GM 
suggested that no evidence exists that vehicle 
aggressivity is increased as a result of complying 
with these standards. 

The agency stated in the proposal that it was 
concerned that compliance with the standards as 
they now exist might have increased the 
aggressivity of the vehicles, thereby harming the 
occupants of passenger cars that are impacted by 
these larger, more rigid vehicles. The agency is 
now beginning to examine the full range of vehicle 
aggressivity problems. The docket for this notice 
contains a paper recently presented by a member 
of our staff to the Society of Automotive 
Engineers on this subject. The agency tentatively 
concludes, based upon the initial results of our 
research and analysis, that vehicle aggressivity 
could be a safety problem and that the agency 
considers that possibOity in issuing its safety 
standards. The NHTSA notes that Volkswagen 
applauds the agency's recognition of the vehicle 
aggressivity factor in safety. 

As to GM's argument that compliance with the 
standards may not have increased vehicle 
aggressivity, our information on this point came 
from the manufacturers. The manufacturers 
indicated that compliance with Standards 212 and 
219 requires strengthening the vehicle frame. This 
makes a vehicle more rigid. Our analysis indicates 
that making a vehicle more rigid may also make it 
more aggressive. Therefore, the agency concludes 
partially on the basis of the manufacturer's 
information, that compliance with the safety 
standards as they are written may have increased 
the aggressivity of the vehicles. 

Ford Motor Company suggested that, rather 
than change these two particular standards, the 
agency should amend the certification regulation 
(Part 568) to state that any vehicle that is barrier 
tested would be required only to comply to an 
unloaded vehicle weight of 5,500 pounds or less. 
Ford suggested that this would standardize all of 
the tests and provide uniformity. 



The agency is unable to accept Ford's 
recommendation for several reasons. First, the 
certification regulation is an inappropriate place to 
put a test requirement applicable to several 
standards. The tests' requirements of the 
standards should be found in each standard. 
Second, the Ford recommendation would result in 
a reduction of the level of safety currently imposed 
by Standard No. 301, Fv£l System Integrity. 

As we stated earlier and in several other notices, 
the agency is legislatively forbidden to modify 
Standard No. 301 in a way that would reduce the 
level of safety now required by that standard. 
Even without this legislative mandate, the agency 
would not be likely to relieve the burdens imposed 
by Standard No. 301. That standard is extremely 
important for the prevention of fires during 
crashes. Compliance of a vehicle with this standard 
not only protects the occupants of the vehicle that 
is in compliance but also protects the occupants of 
vehicles that it impacts. The agency concludes that 
the standard now provides a satisfactory level of 
safety in vehicles, and NHTSA would not be likely /■ 
to amend it to reduce these safety benefits even if v;;;^ 
such an amendment were possible. 

With respect to fuel system integrity, several 
manufacturers suggested that the agency had 
underestimated the impact of that standard upon 
weight and center of gravity restrictions. These 
commenters indicated that compliance with that 
standard requires more than merely adding shielding 
to the fuel systems of the vehicles. The agency is 
aware that compliance with that standard in certain 
instances has imposed restrictions upon 
manufacturers. Nonetheless, the agency continues to 
believe .that as a result of this amendment, the 
chassis manufacturers will be able to reduce their 
weight and center of gravity restrictions while still 
maintaining the compliance of their vehicles with 
Standard No. 301. 

Chrysler commented that the agency should 
consider including the new test procedure in 
Standard No. 204 and all other standards that 
require barrier testing. The agency has issued a 
notice on Standard No. 204 (44 FR 68470) stating 
that it was considering a similar test provision for 
that standard. The agency also is aware that any 1 

barrier test requirement imposed upon vehicles 
subject to substantial modifications by final-stage 



PART 571; S 212-PRE 12 



manufacturers will create problems for the final- 
stage manufacturers. Accordingly, the agency will 
consider the special problems of these manufacturers 
prior to the the issuance of standards that might 
affect them and will attempt to make the test 
requirements of the various standards consistent 
wherever possible. 

The agency has reviewed this amendment in 
accordance with Executive Order 12044 and 
concludes that it will have no significant economic or 
other impact. Since the regulation relieves some 
testing requirements, it may slightly reduce costs 
associated with some vehicles. Accordingly, the 
agency concludes that this is not a significant 
amendment and a regulatory analysis is not required. 

In accordance with the foregoing. Volume 49 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations Part 571 is 



amended by adding the following sentence to the 
end of paragraph S6.1(b) of Standard No. 212 (49 
CFR 571.212) and paragraph S7.7(b) of Standard 
No. 219 (49 CFR 571.219). 

Vehicles are tested to a maximum unloaded 
vehicle weight of 5,500 pounds. 

The authors of this notice are William Smith of 
the Crashworthiness Division and Roger Tilton of 
the Office of Chief Counsel. 

Issued on March 28, 1980. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 



i 



45 F.R. 22044 
April 3, 1980 



PART 571; S 212-PRE 13-14 



I 



4' 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 212 



Windshield Mounting 



I 



51. Scope. This standard establishes wind- 
shield retention requirements for motor vehicles 
during crashes. 

52. Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to 
reduce crash injuries and fatalities by providing for 
retention of the vehicle windshield during a crash, 
thereby utilizing fully the penetration-resistance 
and injury-avoidance properties of the windshield 
glazing material and preventing the ejection of 
occupants from the vehicle. 

53. Application. This standard applies to 
passenger cars and to multipurpose passenger 
vehicles, trucks, and buses having a gross vehicle 
weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. However, it 
does not apply to forward control vehicles, walk-in 
van-type vehicles, or to open-body-type vehicles 
with fold-down or removable windshields. 

54. Definition. "Passive restraint system" 
means a system meeting the occupant crash pro- 
tection requirements of S5 of Standard No. 208 by 
means that require no action by vehicle occupants. 

55. Requirements. When the vehicle traveling 
longitudinally forward at any speed up to and 
including 30 mph impacts a fixed collision barrier 
that is perpendicular to the line of travel of the 
vehicle, under the conditions of S6, the windshield 
mounting of the vehicle shall retain not less than 
the minimum portion of the windshield periphery 
specified in S5.1 and S5.2. 

55.1 Vehicles equipped with passive restraints. 

Vehicles equipped with passive restraint systems 
shall retain not less than 50 percent of the portion 
of the windshield periphery on each side of the 
vehicle longitudinal centerline. 

55.2 Vehicles not equipped with passive 
restraints. Vehicles not equipped with passive 
restraint systems shall retain not less than 75 per- 
cent of the windshield periphery. 



S6. Test conditions. The requirements of S5 
shall be met under the following conditions: 

S6.1 The vehicle, including test devices and in- 
strumentation, is loaded as follows: 

(a) Except as specified in S6.2, a passenger car 
is loaded to its unloaded vehicle weight plus its 
cargo and luggage capacity weight, secured in the 
luggage area, plus a 50th-percentile test dummy as 
specified in Part 572 of this chapter at each front 
outboard designated seating position and at any 
other position whose protection system is required 
to be tested by a dummy under the provisions of 
Standard No. 208. Each dummy is restrained only 
by means that are installed for protection at its 
seating position. 

(b) Except as specified in S6.2, a multipurpose 
passenger vehicle, truck, or bus is loaded to its 
unloaded vehicle weight plus 300 pounds or its 
rated cargo and luggage capacity, whichever is 
less, secured to the vehicle, plus a 50th-percentile 
test dummy as specified in Part 572 of this chapter 
at each front outboard designated seating position 
and at any other position whose protection system 
is required to be tested by a dummy under the 
provisions of Standard No. 208. Each dummy is 
restrained only by means that are installed for 
protection at its seating position. The load is 
distributed so that the weight on each axle as 
measured at the tire-ground interface is in propor- 
tion to its GAWR. If the weight on any axle when 
the vehicle is loaded to its unloaded vehicle weight 
plus dummy weight exceeds the axle's proportional 
share of the test weight, the remaining weight is 
placed so that the weight on that axle remains the 
same. For the purposes of this section, unloaded 
vehicle weight does not include the weight of 
workperforming accessories. Vehicles are tested to 
a maximum unloaded vehicle weight of 5,500 
pounds. 



PART 571; S 212-1 



c 



56.2 The fuel tank is filled to any level from S6.5 The windshield mounting material and 
90 to 95 percent of capacity. all vehicle components in direct contact with 

56.3 The parking brake is disengaged and the ^^! """"fJ^f "'!^^r?/'^ ^* ^"^ temperature 
transmission is in neutral. ^^^^^^" 1^°^ ^"^ 110°^- 

56.4 Tires are inflated to the vehicle manu- 41 F.R. 36493 
facturer's specifications. August 30, 1976 



(.^ 



PART 571; S 212-2 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 



Child Restraint Systems, Seat Belt Assemblies, and Anchorages 
(Docket No. 74-9; Notice 6) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule establishes a new Standard 
No. 213, Child Restraint Systems, which applies to 
all types of child restraints used in motor vehicles. 
It also upgrades existing child restraint perform- 
ance requirements by setting new performance 
criteria and by replacing the current static tests 
with dynamic sled tests that simulate vehicle 
crashes and use anthropomorphic child test 
dummies. The new standard would reduce the 
number of children under 5 years of age killed or 
injured in motor vehicle accidents. 

DATES: On June 1, 1980, compliance with the 
requirements of this standard will become 
mandatory. The current Standard No. 213 is 
amended to permit, at the manufacturer's option, 
compliance during the interim period either with 
the requirements of existing Standard No. 213, 
Child Seating Systems, or the new Standard No. 
213, Child Restraint Systems. 

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration should 
refer to the docket number and be submitted to: 
Docket Section, Room 5108, National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, 
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Mr. Vladislav Radovich, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Standards, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, 
S.W., Washington, D.C.20590 (202-426-2264) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

This notice establishes a new Standard No. 213, 
Child Restraint Systems. A notice of proposed 
rulemaking was published on May 18, 1978 (43 FR 
21470) proposing to upgrade and extend the 



applicability of the existing Standard No. 213, Child 
Seating Systems. The existing standard does not 
regulate car beds and infant carriers and uses static 
testing to assess the effectiveness of child restraint 
systems. The new standard covers all types of child 
restraint systems and evaluates their performance in 
dynamic sled tests with anthropomorphic test dum- 
mies. On May 18, 1978, NHTSA also published a 
companion notice of proposed rulemaking proposing 
to amend Part 572, Anthr&poTrwrphic Test Dummies, 
by specifying requirements for two anthropomorphic 
test dummies representing 3 year and 6 month old 
children (43 FR 21490) for use in compliance testing 
under proposed Standard No. 213. The comment 
closing date for both notices was December 1, 1978. 

At the request of the Juvenile Product Manufac- 
turers Association, NHTSA extended the comment 
closing date until January 5, 1979, for the portions of 
both proposals dealing with testing with the child test 
dummies. This extension was granted because 
manufacturers were reportedly having problems 
obtaining the proposed test dummies to conduct their 
own evaluations. 

Consumers, public health organizations, child 
restraint manufacturers and others submitted 
comments on the proposed standard. The final rule is 
based on a thorough evaluation of all data obtained in 
NHTSA testing, data submitted in the comments, 
and data obtained from other pertinent documents 
and test reports. Significant comments submitted to 
the docket are addressed below. The agency will soon 
issue a final rule on the anthropomorphic test dummy 
proposal. 

Summary of the Final Rule Provisions 

The significant portions of the new standard are 
as follows: 

1. The performance of the child restraint system 
is evaluated in dynamic tests under conditions 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-l 



( 



simulating a frontal crash of an average 
automobile at 30 mph. The restraint system is 
anchored with a lap belt and, if provided with the 
restraint, a supplementary anchorage belt (tether 
strap). An additional frontal impact test at 20 mph 
is conducted for restraints equipped with tether 
straps or arm rests. In that additional test, child 
restraints with tether straps will be tested with the 
tether straps detached and child restraints with 
arm rests will be tested with the arm rest in place 
but with the child restraint system belts unbuckled. 
The additional 20 mph tests are intended to ensure 
a minimum level of safety performance when the 
restraints are improperly used. 

2. To protect the child, limitations are set on the 
amount of force exerted on the head and chest of 
the child test dummy during the dynamic testing of 
restraints specified for children over 20 pounds. 
Limitations are also set on the amount of frontal 
head and knee excursions experienced by the test 
dummy in forward-facing child restraints and 
harnesses. To prevent a child from being ejected 
from a rearward-facing restraint, limitations are 
set on the amount the seat can tip forward and on 
the amount of excursion experienced by the test 
dummy during the simulated crash. 

3. During the dynamic testing, no load-bearing 
or other structrual part of any child restraint 
system shall separate so as to create jagged edges 
that could injure a child. If the restraint has 
adjustable positions, it must remain in its pre-test 
adjusted position during the testing so that the 
restraint does not shift positions in a crash and 
possibly injure a child's limbs caught between the 
shifting parts or allow a child to submarine during 
the crash (i.e., allow the child's body to slide too far 
forward and downward, legs first). 

4. To prevent injuries to children during crashes 
from contact with the surface of the restraint, 
requirements for the size and shape are specified 
for those surfaces. In addition, protective padding 
requirements are set for restraints used by 
children weighing 20 pounds or less. 

5. Requirements in Standard No. 209, Seat Belt 
Assemblies (49 CFR 571.209), are applied to the 
belt restraints used in child restraint systems. 

6. The amount of force necessary to open belt 
buckles and release a child from a restraint system 
is specified so that children cannot unbuckle 
themselves, but adults can easily open the buckle. 



7. To promote the easy and correct use of all 
child restraint systems, they are required to attach 
to the vehicle by means of vehicle seat belts. 

8. Warnings for proper use of the restraints 
must be permanently posted on the restraint so 
that the warnings are visible when the restraint is 
installed. Other information, such as the height 
and weight limits for children using the child 
restraint, must also be permanently displayed on 
the restraint but it does not have to be visible when 
the restraint is installed. The restraint must also 
have a location for storing an accompanying infor- 
mation booklet or sheet on how to correctly install 
and use the restraint. 

9. A standard seat assembly is used in the 
dynamic testing to represent the typical vehicle 
bench seat and thereby aboid the cost of testing 
child restraints on numerous vehicle seats. 

Applicability of Standard No. 213 

The provisions of new Standard No. 213 apply to 
all types of child restraints used in motor vehicles 
for protection of children weighing up to 50 
pounds, such as child seats, infant carriers, child 
harnesses and car beds. Beginning on June 1, 
1980, compliance with the requirements of this 
standard will become mandatory. The current 
Standard No. 213 is amended to permit, at the 
manufacturer's option, compliance during the 
interim period either with the requirements of 
existing Standard No. 213, Child Seating Systems, 
or of the new Standard No. 213, Child Restraint 
Systems. 

Dynamic Testing 

The requirements to be met in the dynamic 
testing of child restraints include: maintaining the 
structural integrity of the system, retaining the 
head and knees of the dummy within specified ex- 
cursion limits (i.e., limits on how far those portions 
of the body may move forward) and limiting the 
forces exerted on the dummy by the restraint 
system. These requirements will reduce the 
likelihood that the child using a child restraint 
system will be injured by the collapse or disintegra- 
tion of the system, or by contact with interior of 
the vehicle, or by imposition of intolerable forces 
by the restraint system. As explained below, 
omission of any of these three requirements would 
render imcomplete the criteria for the quantitative 
assessment of the safety of a child restraint system 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-2 



and could very well lead to the design and use of 
unsafe restraints. 

It was suggested in comments by the child 
restraint manufacturers and their trade associa- 
tion, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers 
Association (JPMA), that available restraints are 
performing satisfactorily. According to them, the 
new standard imposes expensive testing re- 
quirements with instrumented dummies which will 
increase the price of child restraints and 
discourage the purchasing of child restraints 
because of their increased costs. Many manufac- 
turers suggested that the agency limit the stand- 
ard to tests for occupant excursion and restraint 
system structural integrity in dynamic tests and 
not require the use of instrumented test dummies 
to measure crash forces imposed upon a child. 

NHTSA recognizes that some child restraints 
perform relatively well, but the agency's testing 
has shown that others perform unsatisfactorily. 
Measuring only the structural integrity of the 
system and the amount of occupant excursion 
allowed during the testing does not provide a 
measurement of the severity of forces imposed on 
a child during a crash and thus does not provide an 
accurate assessment of the actual safety of the 
system. For example, a manufacturer could design 
a restraint with a surface mounted in front of the 
child that would allow a small amount of occupant 
excursion. However, that surface could impose 
potentially injurious forces on a child. NHTSA 
believes that the force measurement performance 
requirements are a crucial and necessary test to 
adequately judge a restraint system's effectiveness 
in preventing or reducing injuries. The use of in- 
strumented test dummies and force measurement 
requirements are crucial elements of Standard No. 
208, Occupant Crash Protection, which establish 
performance requirements for automatic restraint 
systems. NHTSA believes that systems designed 
specifically for children should have to provide the 
same high degree of occupant protection. 

Several manufacturers (GM, Ford, Questor, and 
others) and JPMA objected to the proposed head 
and chest acceleration limits that must not be 
exceeded in the dynamic testing. They argued that 
the acceleration limits are based on biomechanical 
data for adults and there are no data showing their 
applicability to children. Because of the lack of 
biomechanical data on children's tolerance to 
impact forces, NHTSA has conducted tests of child 



restraints with live primates to serve as surrogates 
for three-year-old children. Primates are similar in 
certain respects to children and, have been used by 
GM, Ford and others as surrogates in child 
restraint testing to assess protential injuries to 
children in crashes. In simulated 30 mph crashes 
conducted for NHTSA, similar to the test pre- 
scribed in the proposed standard, the primates 
either were not injured or sustained only minor 
injuries. NHTSA has also conducted child restraint 
tests using instrumented test dummies represen- 
ting three-year-old children instead of primates. In 
the tests, the forces measured on the test 
dummies, which had not been injurious to the 
primates, did not exceed the head and chest ac- 
celeration criteria proposed in the standard. 
NHTSA is thus confident that the chOd restraints 
which do not exceed these performance criteria in 
the prescribed tests should prevent or reduce injuries 
to children in crashes. 

Use of instrumented test dummies should not 
unduly raise the price of child restraints. Since 
many child restraint systems are already close to 
compliance, the cost per restraint of any needed 
design and testing costs should be minimal. 

The May 1978 notice would have required 
restraint systems with adjustable positions to meet 
the performance requirements of the standards in 
any of its adjusted positions recommended for use 
in a motor vehicle. The restraint would have had to 
remain in its adjusted position during testing. 
International Manufacturing Co. requested the 
agency to test adjustable restraints in only their 
extreme up and down positions. If a manufacturer 
chooses to offer a seat with a number of adjustable 
positions which it recommends for use in a motor 
vehicle, it is important that the seat meet the 
performance requirements of the standard at any 
of those positions. Therefore, International's 
request is denied. NHTSA urges manufacturers 
not to include any adjustment positions for their 
restraints which are not to be used in a motor 
vehicle. 

Strollee, Questor and Volvo asked NHTSA to 
allow adjustable position restraints to change posi- 
tions during the testing, arguing that controlled 
change of position can be an effective energy- 
absorbing method. Allowing changes from one 
adjustment position to another during a crash can 
cause injuries to children's hands or fingers caught 
between the structural elements of the restraint as 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-3 



it changes position. Other effective energy- 
absorbing methods are available which will not 
pose a risk of injury to children. Thus, NHTSA is 
not adopting this suggestion. 

Child restraint manufacturers and other 
interested parties, such as Action for Child 
Transportation Safety (ACTS), American 
Academy of Pediatrics, Physicians for Automotive 
Safety, and Michigan's Office of Highway Safety, 
urged NHTSA to lengthen the 30 inch head and 
knee excursion requirements for forward-facing 
restraints. They argued that some child restraint 
systems which have been effective in real world 
crashes will exceed the proposed head excursion 
limit. NHTSA has reviewed its child restraint tests 
and determined that during the last few inches of 
excursion the remaining velocity of the head in 
impacts with padded surfaces is relatively low. 
Because slightly increasing the head excursion 
should not increase the forces imposed upon the 
child's head, the head excursion limit is changed 
from 30 to 32 inches. 

The May 1978 notice proposed limiting the 
amount of knee excursion in forward-facing child 
restraints to 30 inches. The purpose of the knee 
excursion limit is to prevent manufacturers from 
controlling the amount of head excursion by 
designing their restraints so that their occupants 
submarine excessively during a crash (i.e., so that 
their bodies slide too far downward and forward, 
legs first). Many child restraint manufacturers and 
JPMA asked the agency to lengthen the knee 
excursion limits. They argued that many 
restraints, particularly reclining child restraints 
where the occupant's knees will be further forward 
than a non-reclining child restraint, cannot pass 
the knee excursion limit, but do not allow the 
occupants to submarine. They claimed that the 
reclining feature is a comfort and convenience 
device which promotes seat usage since it allows a 
child to sleep in the restraint. They recommended 
that the agency establish a separate requirement 
which would prevent the occupant's torso from 
straightening out and submarining under the belts. 
NHTSA has tested several child restraints in the 
reclining position and determined that the knee 
excursion can be lengthened to 36 inches without 
allowing submarining if the dummy's torso has 
rotated at least 15 degrees forward from its initial 
starting position when the knees have reached 
their maximum excursion. Thus, the new standard 



incorporates a 36 inch knee excursion limit and 
requires the test dummy's torso to have rotated at 
least 15 degrees forward when the knees have 
reached their maximum excursion. 

For rear-facing child restraints (i.e., infant 
carriers) the May 1978 notice proposed retaining 
the dummy's head within the confines of the seat 
and preventing the back support surface of the 
restraint from tipping forward far enough to allow 
the angle between it and the vertical to exceed 60 
degrees. If the support surface were allowed to tip 
more, the infant in the restraint could slide head 
first out of the shoulder straps. GM and Heinrich 
Von Wimmersperg pointed out that there is a 
conflict between the description of the confines of 
rear-facing restraints contained in the text of the 
standard and the manner in which the confines are 
defined in one of the figures incorporated in the 
standard. The text has been modified to correctly 
identify the confines of the restraint systems. GM 
also commented that the text of the standard 
defined the head confinement requirements in 
reference to the head target points of the infant 
dummy, although the infant dummy, unlike the 3 
year child test dummy, does not have target points. 
The revised specifications for the infant test 
dummy do include head target points and therefore 
the confinement requirement is retained as 
originally proposed. 

Several child restraint manufacturers objected 
to limiting the forward tipping of rear-facing 
restraints to 60 degrees. They argued that rear- 
facing child restraints can tip as much as 70 
degrees forward and still retain the child within 
the restraint. They also argued that a rear-facing 
restraint will hit the instrument panel in the front 
seat, or the back of the front seat if the restraint is 
used in the rear seat, before the restraint tips 60 
degrees. NHTSA is retaining a limit on forward 
tipping since a child restraint can be used in a 
vehicle with the vehicle's front seat moved to its 
extreme forward or rearward position. If the child 
restraint is used in the front seat and the vehicle 
seat is in the extreme rearward position, the child 
restraint can tip forward without striking the 
instrument panel. Likewise, a child restraint used 
in the rear seat, where the vehicle's front seat is in 
its extreme forward position, can tip forward 
without striking the back of the front seat. 
However, tests done by NHTSA have shown that a 
restraint can tip forward as much as 70 degrees 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-4 



while still retaining the child within the confines of 
the restraint. Therefore, the limitation on forward 
tipping is being changed to 70 rather than 60 
degrees. 

One child restraint manufacturer, the American 
Association for Automotive Medicine and Heinrich 
Von Wimmersperg commented that manufac- 
turers of rear-facing restraints may attempt to 
comply with the limitation on forward rotation by 
designing the normal resting angle of the seat in a 
very vertical alignment or by adding attachments 
to prop the seat into a vertical position. Either of 
those approaches can create an uncomfortable 
seating position for the child. They recommended 
that the agency establish a minimum resting angle 
for rear-facing restraints. The agency is not 
adopting this suggestion at this time. By increas- 
ing the amount of forward rotation allowed, the 
agency should have removed the temptation for 
njanufacturers to design restraint resting angles 
which would make it easier to comply with the 
requirement, but would create uncomfortable 
seating positions for the child. 

The May 1978 notice proposed an additional 
dynamic test at 20 mph for child restraint systems 
equipped with tether straps with those straps left 
unattached. A number of commenters (such as 
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, ACTS, 
University of Tennessee, Questor, Bobby Mac, and 
Michigan's Office of Highway Safety) commented 
that many people fail to connect the tether. They 
recommended that this type of restraint be tested 
at 30 mph with unattached tethers. 

The agency is aware of the benefits and dis- 
advantages of child restraints equipped with 
tethers, which presently account for over 70 per- 
cent of the child restraint sales. The agency's 
testing has shown that in 30 mph frontal tests child 
restraints with the tethers attached have less 
occupant excursion and lower head and chest ac- 
celerations than shield-type restraints that do not 
use tethers. Tethered restraints also allow far less 
occupant excursion in lateral crashes than shield- 
type restraints. The available accident data on 
child restraints, which includes consumer letters 
and accident investigation reports, is limited since 
the usage of child restraints is low. It does show, 
however, that tethered restraints, both properly 
tethered and untethered, have prevented injuries 
to children in crashes where other vehicle 
occupants were severely injured. 



Because of the performance of properly tethered 
child restraints under testing and accident condi- 
tions, the agency does not want to eliminate those 
restraints from the market. At the same time, the 
agency wants to reduce or eliminate the possibility of 
people not using the tethers that accompany those 
restraints. Therefore, the agency is requiring all 
seats equipped with a tether to have a visible label 
warning people to correctly fasten the tether. In 
addition, the agency is considering issuing a 
proposal to require vehicle manufacturers to pro- 
vide attachments for tether anchorages in all their 
vehicles. Having such attachments vdll enable 
parents to easily and properly attach tethers. The 
agency is also striving to promote the increased 
and proper use of child restraints through educa- 
tional programs. As a part of this effort, NHTSA 
has conducted a series of regional seminars aimed 
at helping grass roots organizations educate 
parents about the importance of child restraints. A 
NHTSA-sponsored national conference on child 
restraint safety is scheduled for December 10-12 
in Washington, D.C. to further these educational 
programs. 

To ensure that restraints equipped with tethers 
provide at least a minimum level of protection if 
they are misused, the agency will require an addi- 
tional dynamic test at 20 mph for those restraints. 
When tested with tethers unattached, the 
restraints must pass all the dynamic test perform- 
ance requirements of the standard. 

Energy Absorption and Distribution 

Several manufacturers (Questor, Strollee, 
Cosco) and JPMA objected to the proposed height 
requirements for head restraints used to control 
the rearward movement of a child's head in a 
crash. The proposal would have slightly increased 
the requirements currently set in Standard No. 
213. They argued that there was no basis for the 
change, which would require them to redesign 
their child restraints. The new requirements are 
based on anthropometric data on children gathered 
since the standard was originally adopted. NHTSA 
proposed the new head restraint height re- 
quirements in its earlier March 1974 notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking on child restraints and many 
manufacturers have already redesigned their seats 
to comply with the requirements. Since the new 
heights more accurately reflect the seating heights 
of children than the old requirements, the agency 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-5 



is adopting them as proposed. The notice proposed 
that the top of the head restraint be 22 inches 
above the seating surface for restraints used by 
children weighing more than 40 pounds. Questor 
requested the upper weight be changed to 43 
pounds. Since 40 pounds represents the weight of a 
50th percentile 5 year old and 23 inches represents 
its seating height, the requirement is not changed. 

Several manufacturers (Cosco, Strollee, 
Questor) and JPMA raised objections to the pro- 
posed requirement that head restraints of child 
restraint systems have a width of not less than 8 
inches. They pointed out that the minimum head 
restraint width requirement is intended to prevent 
a child's head from going beyond the width of a 
head restraint in a lateral or rear impact. They 
argued that restraints with side supports or 
"wings" should not have to meet the 8 inch width 
requirement since the side supports will prevent an 
occupant's head from moving laterally outside the 
restraint system. NHTSA agrees that the side sup- 
ports should help laterally retain the child's head 
within the restraint during a side or rear impact 
and therefore is exempting those restraints from 
the 8 inch minimim width requirement. However, 
to ensure that child restraints with side supports 
have sufficient width to accommodate the heads of 
the largest child using the restraint, the agency 
has set a 6 inch minimum width for those 
restraints. In addition, to ensure that side supports 
are large enough to retain an occupant's head 
within the restraint, the agency has set a minimum 
depth requirement of four inches for those sup- 
ports. Anthropomorphic data show that the head 
of a 50th percentile 5 year old child measures 7 in- 
ches front to rear and is 6 inches in breadth. 
Therefore, a four inch support should contact a suf- 
ficient area of the child's head to restrain it. 

Manufacturers also questioned if the 8 inch width 
requirements is to be measured in restraints with 
side support from the surface of the padded side 
support or from the surface of the underlying 
structure before the padding is added. The 
wording of the standard is changed to make clear 
that the distance is measured from the surface of 
the padding, since the padded surface must be wide 
enough to accommodate the child's head. 

The notice proposed that the minimum head 
restraint height requirement would not apply to 



restraints that use the vehicle's seat back to 
restrain the head, if the target point on the side of 
the head of the test dummy representing a 3 year 
old child is raised above the top of the seat back. 
Ford said that because of permitted differences in 
the dimensions of different test dummies and test 
seats, its child restraint will not consistently meet 
the requirements. Ford asked that the height 
requirement be changed or the manufacturers be 
permitted to restrict their restraints to seats with 
head restraints or to rear seats which have a flat 
surface immediately behind the seat. The standard 
allows a manufacturer to specify in its instruction 
manual accompanying the restraints which seating 
locations cannot be used with the child restraint. 
Therefore, no change is necessary, since Ford is 
allowed to restrict use of its restraint. 

Several manufacturers (Cosco, Strollee, 
Questor) and JPMA objected to the proposed force 
distribution requirement set for the sides of child 
restraint systems. The specifications do not 
require manufacturers to incorporate side 
supports in their restraints, they only regulate the 
surfaces that the manufacturer decides to provide 
so that they distribute crash forces over the child's 
torso. The commenters requested that the agency 
define the term "torso" and explain the reason for 
setting different side support requirements for 
systems used by infants weighing less than 20 
pounds than for systems used by children weighing 
20 pounds or more. In restraints for infants less 
than 20 pounds, the minimum side surface area 
requirements are based on anthropometric data 
for a 6-month-old 50th percentile infant to ensure 
maximum lateral body contact in a side impact. 
Since the skeletal structure of an infant is just 
beginning to develop, it is important to distribute 
impact forces over as large a surface area of the 
child as possible, rather than concentrating the 
potentially injurious forces over a small area. For 
restraints used by children weighing more than 20 
pounds and, therefore, having a more developed 
skeletal structure the minimum surface area 
requirement is based on anthropometric data for a 
50th percentile 3-year-old child to provide restraint 
for the shoulder and hip areas of the child. 

To enable manufacturers to determine their 
compliance with the torso support requirement, 
the standard follows the dictionary definition of 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-6 



"torso" and defines the term as referring to the 
portion of the body of a seated anthropomorphic 
test dummy, excluding the thighs, that lies 
between the top of the seating surface and the top 
of the shoulders of the test dummy. 

Several manufacturers (Cosco, Strollee, 
Questor) and JPMA questioned the basis for pro- 
hibiting surfaces with a radius of curvature of less 
than 3 inches. They and Hamill also asked if the 
measurement of the curvature is to be made before 
or after application of foam padding on the 
underlying surface. The radius of curvature limita- 
tion will prevent sharp surfaces that might concen- 
trate potentially injurious forces on the child. It is 
based on the performance of systems with such a 
radius of curvature that have not produced injuries 
in real world crashes. The standard is changed to 
require the measurement of the radius of cur- 
vature to be made on the underlying structure of 
the restraint, before application of foam padding. 
Since foam compresses when impacted in a crash, 
it is important that the structure under the foam be 
sufficiently curved so it does not concentrate the 
crash forces on a limited area of the child's body. 

For child restraints used by children weighing 
less than 20 pounds, the notice proposed that sur- 
faces which can be contacted by the test dummy's 
head during dynamic testing must be padded with 
a material that meets certain thickness and static 
compression requirements. A number of manufac- 
turers (Strollee, Cosco, GM and Questor) and 
JPMA questioned the specifications set for the 
padding, arguing that there is no need to change 
from the current materials and the specification of 
a minimum thickness is design restrictive. Other 
commenters (Bobby-Mac, Hamill and American 
Association for Automotive Medicine) requested 
that the agency establish a test to measure the 
energy-absorbing capabilities of the underlying 
structure of the restraint, as well as of the 
padding. 

NHTSA eventually wants to establish dynamic 
test requirements using instrumented test 
dummies for restraints used by children weighing 
20 pounds or less. Such testing would measure the 
total energy absorption capability of the padding 
and underlying structure. At present, there are no 
instrumented infant test dummies, so the agency is 
instead specifying long-established static tests of 
the padding material. 



In response to manufacturer comments, the 
NHTSA has reevaluated the materials currently 
used in child restraints and determined that those 
and other widely available materials can apparently 
provide sufficient energy absorption if used with a 
specified thickness. The agency has changed the 
proposed compression-deflection requirements to 
allow the use of a wider range of materials which 
should enable manufacturers to provide protective 
padding for children without having to increase the 
price of the restraint. 

The proposed ban on components, such as arm 
rests, directly in front of a child which do not 
restrain the child was objected to by JPMA, and 
some manufacturers (Strollee, Century Products, 
International Manufacturing). They argued that 
arm restraints should not be banned since they 
promote usage of a child restraint by giving the 
child an area to rest against or place a book or 
other plaything. Other manufacturers (Hamill, 
Bobby-Mac), Michigan's Office of Highway Safety, 
and the American Academy of Pediatrics 
supported the ban arguing that arm rests promote 
misuse by creating the impression that a child can 
be adequately restrained by merely placing the 
arm rest in front of the child. The agency is 
concerned that parents' mistaken beliefs about the 
protective capability of arm rests may mislead 
them into not using the harness systems in the 
restraints. 

Therefore, such arm rests or other components 
only may be installed if they provide adequate pro- 
tection to a child when the restraint is misused in a 
foreseeable way because of the presence of the arm 
rest (i.e., the child is not buckled into the harness 
that comes with the child restraint system). To 
measure the performance of child restraints with 
arm rests and other devices that flip down in front 
of the child, those restraints will be tested at 20 
mph with the component placed in front of the 
child, but without the child strapped into the 
restraint system. The restraint must pass the 
occupant excursion and other dynamic perform- 
ance requirements in that condition. 

Child Restraint Belt Systems 

The May 1978 notice proposed three alternatives 
for the buckle release force required for the 
harnesses that restrain a child within the restraint. 
Many manufacturers favored the alternative based 
on the current Standard No. 213 which establishes 
a maximum force of 20 pounds, but does not 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-7 



establish a minimum force. In order to promote 
international harmonization, Volvo endorsed 
another alternative proposed by the Economic 
Commission of Europe which would set a minimum 
force of 2.25 pounds and a maximum of 13.45 
pounds. However, Volvo proposed deviating from 
the ECE proposal and allowing a maximum release 
force of 20 pounds. Michigan's Office of Highway 
Safety and the American Seat Belt Council (ASBC) 
supported the other alternative which, based on a 
study by the National Swedish Road and Traffic 
Institute, would have set a 12 pound minimum 
force and a 20 pound maximum force. ASBC stated 
that this alternative should prevent a small child 
from opening the buckle, but not be too strong to 
prevent a small adult female from opening the 
buckle. Other commenters, such as ACTS and 
Borgess Hospital, recommended that the force be 
set at a level which children could not manage. 
Borgess noted that their experience with 400 ren- 
tal child restraints shows that keeping children 
from unbuckling their restraints is a common pro- 
blem. Physicians for Automotive Safety recom- 
mended that all buckle types be standardized and 
the release force be set at a level which can be 
quickly opened in an emergency. 

Based on its review of the comments, NHTSA 
has decided to require buckles with a minimum 
release force of 12 pounds and a maximum release 
force of 20 pounds. The effectiveness of a restraint 
depends on the child being properly buckled at the 
time of impact. If a child is capable of releasing the 
buckle, it can inadvertently or purposely defeat the 
protection of the harness system. Setting a 
minimum force of 12 pounds should prevent small 
children from opening the buckle. Setting a 
maximum of 20 pounds as the release force will 
enable parents to easily open the buckle. NHTSA 
encourages manufacturers of child restraints to 
use push button buckles, similar to those used in 
automobile belts, so that people unfamiliar with 
child restraints can readily unbuckle them in 
emergencies. The agency will consider further 
rulemaking to standardize the buckle if manufac- 
turers do not voluntarily adopt this approach. 

Likewise, NHTSA has already advised child 
restraint manufacturers that physicians have 
informed the agency that some children are burned 
during the summer by over-heated metal buckles 
or other metal child restraint hardware. NHTSA 
will monitor manufacturer efforts to eliminate this 



problem and determine if additional rulemaking is 
necessary. 

The proposal that the belt systems in child 
restraints meet many of the belt and buckle 
requirements of Standard No. 209, Seat Belt 
Assemblies, such as those relating to abrasion, 
resistance to light, resistance to microorganisms, 
color fastness and corrosion and temperature 
resistance was not opposed by any of the com- 
menters and is therefore adopted. The buckle 
release test in Standard No. 209 for child restraint 
buckles is deleted, since Standard 213 now sets 
new performance requirements for buckles. Ford 
noted that the proposal inadvertently dropped a 
portion of Standard No. 209's abrasion 
requirements, which have been reincorporated in 
the final rule. 

To prevent the belts from concentrating crash 
forces over a narrow area of a child's body, the pro- 
posal sets a minimum belt width of IV2 inch for any 
belt that contacts the test dummy during the 
testings. Hamill requested that pieces of webbing 
used to position the principal belts that maintain 
crash loads be exempt from the minimum width 
requirements. The agency believes that as long as 
the test dummy, and thus a child, can contact the 
belts during a crash the belts should be wide 
enough to spread the crash forces and therefore 
Hamill's request is denied. 

Methods of Installation 

Many commenters, including ACTS, American 
Academy for Pediatrics, Insurance Institute for 
Highway Safety, and American Seat Belt Council, 
said that child restraint systems cannot be used 
with some automatic belt systems, since they do 
not have a lap belt to secure the child restraint to 
the seat. They asked the agency to require all 
automatic belt systems to include lap belts. 

The agency considers the compatibility of child 
restraints with automatic belt systems to be an 
important issue. One of the purposes of the 
agency's December 12, 1979, public meeting on 
child safety and motor vehicles is to obtain the 
public's views and information on that and other 
child passenger safety issues to assist the agency 
in determining whether to commence rulemaking. 
One rulemaking option currently being considered 
by the agency is to require vehicle manufacturers 
to provide anchorages for lap belts in automatic 
restraint equipped vehicles so that parents wishing 
to install lap belts can easily do so. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-8 



A number of manufacturers are voluntarily taking 
steps to make automatic belt systems compatible 
with child restraint systems. For example, GM pro- 
vides an additional manual belt with its optional 
automatic lap-shoulder belt system for the front 
passenger's seat in the 1980 model Chevrolet 
Chevette to enable parents to secure child restraint 
systems. 

Many of the commenters also asked the agency 
to require vehicle manufacturers to install 
anchorages or provide predrilled holes to attach 
tether anchorages in all their vehicles. They 
argued such anchorages or holes will make it easy 
for parents to attach tether straps correctly. As 
mentioned earlier in this notice, the agency is 
considering issuing a proposal to require manufac- 
turers to provide attachments for tether 
anchorages in all their vehicles. 

The May 1978 notice proposed that all child 
restraints be capable of being secured to the vehicle 
seat by a lap belt. Volvo and Mercedes once again 
asked the agency to allow the use of "vehicle 
specific" child restraints (systems uniquely designed 
for installation in a particular make and model which 
do not utilize vehicle seat belts for anchorages). As 
explained in the May 1978 notice, such systems can 
easily be misused by being placed in vehicles for 
which they were not specifically designed. Stand- 
ardizing all restraints by requiring them to be capable 
of being attached by a lap belt is an important way to 
prevent misuse. 

However, since vehicle specific child restraints can 
provide adequate levels of protection when installed 
correctly, NHTSA is not prohibiting the manufacture 
of such devices. The new standard requires them to 
meet the performance requirements of the standard 
when secured by a vehicle lap belt. As long as child 
restraints can pass the performance requirements of 
the standard secured only by a lap belt, a manufac- 
turer is free to specify other "vehicle specific" 
installation conditions. 

Labeling 

The requirement for having a visible label per- 
manently mounted to the restraint to encourage 
proper use of child restraints was supported by 
many of the commenters, including the Center for 
Auto Safety, ACTS, Insurance Institute for 
Highway Safety, and Michigan's Office of 
Highway Safety. Several manufacturers (Century, 
Cosco, Questor) objected to having a visible 



label on child restraints, claming that there is not 
enough space on some restraints to place all the 
required information. Other commenters supported 
the visible labeling requirement but suggested that 
the visible label only have a single warning telling 
people to follow the manufacturer's instructions 
(American Association for Automotive Medicine, 
Strollee, Hamill). Others suggested placing warnings 
about the correct use of the restraint on a visible label 
and placing such information as the height and 
weight limits for children using the restraint and the 
manufacturer's certification that it meets all Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standards on a nonvisible label 
(GM, PAS). 

After reviewing the comments, NHTSA con- 
cludes that it is important to have certain warnings 
in a visible position to serve as a constant reminder 
on how to correctly use the restraint. Because of 
the limited space on some restraints, the agency 
has shortened the labeling requirements to require 
only those instructions most directly concerned 
with the safe use of the seat be visible. Thus, 
depending on its design, the restraint must warn 
parents to secure the restraint with the vehicle lap 
belt, snugly adjust all belts provided with the 
restraint, correctly attach the top tether strap and 
only use a restraint adjustment position which are 
intended for use in a motor vehicle. 

In response to the agency's request for other 
instructions that a manufacturer should give 
parents, several commenters (ACTS, Michigan's 
Office of Highway Safety, Borgess Hospital) said 
that a warning on the label is necessary to prevent 
misuse of infant carriers. They said many people 
mistakenly place infant carriers in a forward- 
facing, rather than a rear-facing position. A 
forward-facing position defeats the purpose of 
those restraints which are designed to spread the 
forces of the crash over the infant's back. Because 
of the importance of preventing this type of 
misuse, the agency will require the visible label td 
also remind parents not to use rear-facing infant 
restraints in any other position. 

Information about the height and weight limits 
of the children for which the restraint is designed, 
the manufacturer and model of the child restraint, 
and the month, year and place of manufacture and 
the certification that the restraint complies with all 
applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 
would also have to be provided, but that informa- 
tion does not have to be on a label that is visible 
when the seat is installed. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-9 



Many commenters (GM, Insurance Institute for 
Highway Safety, Multnomah County Department 
of Human Services, Physicians for Automotive 
Safety, Center for Auto Safety, and American 
Academy of Pediatrics) supported the proposed 
requirement that manufacturers inform con- 
sumers about the primary consequences of not 
following the manufacturer's warning about the 
correct use of the restraint. Therefore, the visible 
label must state the primary consequence of 
misusing the restraint. The same information 
would also have to be included in the instruction 
manual accompanying the restraint. 

Ford objected to the requirement that the label 
have a diagram showing the child restraint installed 
in a vehicle as specified in the manufacturer's in- 
structions. It said that because of the complexity of 
the instructions required for proper installation of 
a restraint with different types of belt systems, it is 
not practical to place all of the information on a 
single label. Hamill suggested that because of 
those same considerations, the agency should only 
require the diagram to show the proper installation 
of the restraint at one seating position. Other 
commenters, such as the American Academy for 
Pediatrics, supported the use of diagrams on the 
restraint noting that diagrams can more easily 
convey information than written instructions. 

To promote the correct use of child restraints, 
NHTSA believes that it is important to have a 
diagram on the restraint to remind users of the 
proper method of installation. However, so that 
the label does not become too unwieldy, the agency 
will only require manufacturers to provide a 
diagram showing the restraint correctly installed 
in the right front seating position with a con- 
tinuous loop lap/ shoulder belt and in the center 
rear seating position installed with a lap belt. For 
restraints equipped with top tethers, the diagram 
must show the tethers correctly attached in both 
seating positions. It is important to show the 
correct use of a child restraint with a continuous 
loop lap /shoulder belt (a type of belt system used 
on many current cars) since such belts must have a 
locking clip installed on the belt to safely secure 
the child restraint. 

GM objected to the requirement that the label be 
in block type, which it said makes the label difficult 
to read. GM requested that manufacturers be 



allowed to use 10 point type with either capitals or 
upper and lower case lettering. GM said that using 
such type will result in an easier to read label 
which, in turn, should promote more complete 
reading of the label by the consumer. Since the 
type sought by GM should promote the reading of 
the label, the agency is changing the requirement 
to allow the use of such type as an option. 

Several organizations (ACTS, Center for Auto 
Safety and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) 
asked the agency to establish performance test to 
accompany the requirement that the label be per- 
manently affixed to the restraint. They pointed out 
that some current paper labels peel off after the 
restraint has been used awhile. NHTSA has not 
conducted the necessary testing to establish such a 
requirement. NHTSA urges manufacturers, 
whenever possible, to mold the label into the 
surface of the restraint rather than use a paper 
label. 

Consumers Union and the Center for Auto Safety 
suggested that all restraints be graded based on 
their performance in frontal and lateral crash tests 
and the grades be posted on all the packaging, 
labels, and instruction manuals accompanying the 
child restraint. The grades would indicate the 
seating position within the vehicle with which the 
restraint can be safely used. Neither Consumers 
Union nor the Center suggested any performance 
requirements for establishing the different grades. 
Since the proposed grading system is outside of the 
scope of the proposed rule and the agency has not 
done the necessary testing to determine the 
specific tests and performance requirements 
necessary to establish such grading system, 
NHTSA will evaluate the suggestion for use in 
future rulemaking. 

Installation Instructions 

The May 1978 notice proposed that each 
restraint be accompanied by instructions for 
correctly installing the restraint in any passenger 
seat in motor vehicles. Many commenters (Center 
for Auto Safety, Borgess and Rainbow Hospitals, 
University of Tennessee And ACTS) suggested 
that the requirement for the instructions to accom- 
pany the restraint should be more explicit to 
require the restraint to have a storage location, 
such as a slot in the restraint or a plastic pouch 
affixed to the restraint, for permanently storing 
the instructions. They point out that storing the 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-lO 



instructions with the restraint means they will be 
available for ready reference and will be passed on 
to subsequent owners of the restraint. NHTSA 
believes such a requirement would best carry out 
its intent to require the instructions to be easily 
available to all users and therefore the suggestion 
is adopted. 

Several manufacturers (Strollee, Cosco) and 
JPMA objected to the agency's proposed require- 
ment that the instructions state that the center 
rear seating position is the safest seating position 
in a vehicle. While not questioning the validity of 
the accident data showing the center rear seat to 
be the safest seating position in most vehicles, they 
argued that the agency should consider the 
psychological impact of not having the child near 
the adult. Accident data have consistently shown 
that the occupants in the rear seat are safer than 
occupants in the front seat. The same data show 
that the center rear seating position is the safest 
seating position in the rear seat. To enable parents 
to make an informed judgment about how best to 
protect their children, NHTSA believes that it is 
important to clearly inform them about the safest 
seating positions in the vehicle, and is therefore 
retaining the requirement. 

In response to the agency's request for addi- 
tional suggestions to be included in the instruction 
manual accompanying the restraint, ACTS sug- 
gested that car bed manufacturers informed con- 
sumers that the child should be placed with its head 
near the center of the vehicle. Because orienting a 
child's head in that way will ensure that it is the 
maximum distance away from the sides of the 
vehicle in a side impact, the agency has adopted 
ACTS suggestion. Tennessee's Office of Urban 
and Federal Affairs suggested that users should be 
told to secure child restraints with a vehicle belt 
when the child restraint is in the vehicle but not in 
use. Since an unsecured child restraint can become 
a flying missile in a crash and injure other vehicle 
occupants, the agency has adopted Tennessee's 
suggestion. 

Test Conditions 

The standard specifies requirements for a test 
assembly representing a vehicle bench seat to be 
used in the dynamic testing. Bobby-Mac com- 
mented that the test seat has a more level seating 
surface and less support at the forward edge of the 
seat than the seats in many current cars. These 



differences mean that a child restraint may 
experience more excursion on the test seat than on 
more angled and firmer car seats, Bobby-Mac said. 
NHTSA agrees that in comparison to some 
vehicles seats, the test seat may present more 
demanding test conditions. However, the test seat 
is representative of many seats used in vehicles 
currently on the road. Meeting the performance 
requirement of the standard on the test seat will 
ensure that child restraints perform adequately on 
the variety of different seats found in cars on the 
road. 

Several manufacturers (Cosco and Strollee) and 
JPMA raised questions about the requirement pro- 
posed for the crash pulse (i.e., the amount of test 
sled deceleration required to simulate the crash 
forces experienced by a car) for the 20 and 30 mph 
tests. The agency had proposed a range of sled test 
pulses dto allow manufacturers the option of using 
pneumatic or impact sled testing machines. Since a 
variety of different sled test pulses would be 
permitted under the proposal, manufacturers asked 
the agency to explain what would happen if t*^ ^y 
and the agency tested a child restraint syst^-m 
using different sled test pulses and produced incon- 
sistent results (i.e., a failure using one pulse and a 
pass at the other, when both pulses were within the 
permissible range). JPMA suggested that the 
agency should consider a restraint as in compliance 
if the restraint meets all the applicable perform- 
ance requirements in a test in which the sled test 
pulse lies entirely within the proposed range. 

To provide manufacturers with the certainty 
they desire, the agency has redefined the sled test 
pulse requirement to establish a single 20 mph 
(Figure 3) and a single 30 mph (Figure 2) sled test 
pulse. Thus, in conducting its compliance testing, 
NHTSA may not exceed the sled test pulse set for 
the 20 and 30 mph tests. The sled test pulses 
chosen by NHTSA are the least severe pulses that 
meet the acceleration thresholds proposed in the 
notice of proposed rulemaking. Manufacturers are 
free to use other sled pulses, as long as the ac- 
celeration/time curve of the sled test pulse used is 
equal to or greater than the acceleration /time 
curve of the sled test pulse set in the standard. 

In response to comments by Ford and others 
that the durability of the foam used in the standard 
seat assembly may influence the test results, the 
agency has changed the standard to specify that 
the foam in the test seat be changed after each 
test. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-ll 



GM pointed out that the instructions for position- 
ing the test dummy within the restraint did not 
specify when in the positioning sequences any of 
the restraint's belts should be placed on the test 
dummy. An appropriate change has been made to 
specify when the belts should be attached. Ford 
said that the dummy positioning requirements 
result in an "unnatural" positioning of the dummy 
within its Tot-Guard restraint so that the dummy's 
arms rest on the side of the restraint rather than 
with its arms on the padded portion of the shield. 
NHTSA notes that a child in a real-world accident 
will not necessarily have its arms resting on the 
shield. Allowing the test dummy's arm to be posi- 
tioned on the shield may inhibit the dummy's 
forward movement and make it easier to comply 
with the limits on test dummy excursion and 
acceleration set in the standard. Thus, Ford's 
requested change in the positioning requirements 
is rejected. 

Flammability 

The notice proposed requiring child restraints to 
meet the bum resistance requirements of Standard 
No. 302, Flammability of Interior Materials. The 
requirement was supported by GM, the American 
Academy of Pediatrics and the American Seat Belt 
Council. No commenters opposed the requirement. 
In supporting the requirement, GM said that the 
flammability characteristics of child restraints, 
"which are in close proximity to an occupant," should 
be "compatible with the flammability characteristics 
of other parts of the vehicle occupant compartment 
interior," which already must meet the performance 
requirements of Standard No. 302. The agency 
agrees with GM about the desirability of providing all 
vehicle occupants with the protection of Standard 
No. 302 and is thus requiring all child restraints to 
meet the performance requirements of that 
standard. 

Inertial Reels 

Several commenters raised questions about the 
effectiveness of vehicle seat belts equipped with 
inertial reels in securing child restraints. The 
American Academy of Pediatrics requested the 
agency to restrict the use of inertial reels to the 
driver's seating position. Physicians for Automotive 
Safety and ACTS pointed out that continuous loop 
lap /shoulder belts with inertial reels must be used 
with locking clips to secure a child restraint. They 



said that the difficulty of installing such clips 
deters their use. 

Agency research has found that use of inertial 
reels increases the comfort and convenience of 
seat belts and thus promotes their use by older 
children and adults. Thus, the agency will continue 
to require the use of inertial reels in vehicle belt 
systems. However, to ensure that inertial reels are 
compatible with child restraints, the agency will 
soon begin rulemaking on the comfort and con- 
venience of vehicle belt systems to require that the 
belts used in the front right outboard seating 
position have a manual locking device. This 
requirement will mean that continuous loop and 
other types of inertial reel belt systems can be easily 
and effectively used with child restraints. Such 
manual locking devices will also be permitted with 
belts used in the rear seats. As previously outlined 
in this notice, the agency has established several 
labeling and installation instruction requirements 
which deal specifically with the correct use of lock- 
ing clips on continuous loop belts with inertial 
reels. Those requirements should reduce or 
eliminate problems associated with using child 
restraint in current vehicles equipped with inertial 
reels. 

Costs and Benefits 

The agency has considered the economic and 
other impacts of this final rule and determined that 
this rule is not significant within the meaning of 
Executive Order 12044 and the Department of 
Transportation's policies and procedures 
implementing that order. The agency's assessment 
of the benefits and economic consequences of this 
final rule are contained in a regulatory evaluation 
which has been placed in the docket. Copies of that 
regulatory evaluation can be obtained by writing 
NHTSA's docket section, at the address given in 
the beginning of this notice. 

In the to 5 age group, more than 800 children 
are killed and more than 100,000 children are 
injured annually as occupants of motor vehicles. 
Because of the large difference in effectiveness 
between restraints that can pass the dynamic test 
of the new standard and those which have passed 
only a static test, NHTSA projects that there 
should be 43 fewer deaths and 6,528 fewer injuries 
per year. Because many restraints have already 
been upgraded in response to the agency's prior 
rulemaking proposal, some of the death and injury 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-12 



prevention benefits of the standard have already 
been realized. 

The projected benefits of this standard are limited 
by the existing low rate of child restraint use. 
However, the labeling and instruction 
requirements of this standard should increase the 
proper usage of child restraints. 
Because of NHTSA's 1974 proposal to upgrade 
child restraints, many manufacturers have 
currently designed their restraints to meet 
dynamic test requirements. Therefore, those 
restraints are only projected to increase in price by 
approximately $1.00 in order to meet the other 
requirements of this standard. Restraints that do 
not currently pass dynamic tests would have a 
price increase of $16.00 to meet the new 
requirements. The average sales weighted price 
increase is $4.25. 

Numerous commenters (including National 
Safety Council, American Academy of Pediatri- 
cians, Tennessee Office of Child Development and 
North Dakota's Department of Public Health) 



urged the agency to make the standard effective 
before the proposed May 1, 1980, effective date. 
GM and the American Safety Belt Council 
requested that the effective date be delayed 
beyond the proposed May 1, 1980. Many manufac- 
turers have already upgraded their restraints to 
the performance requirements set in this rule. The 
agency believes that providing six months lead- 
time, until June 1, 1980, will provide sufficient 
time for the remaining manufacturers to upgrade 
their restraints. 

The principal authors of this notice are Vladislav 
Radovich, Office of Vehicle Safety Standards, and 
Stephen Oesch, Office of Chief Counsel. 

Issued on December 5, 1979. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator, 

44 F.R. 72131 
December 13, 1979 



PART 571; S 213-PRE-13-14 



I 



i 



(< 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY 

STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems; Seat Belt Assemblies 
(Docket No. 74-9; Notice 7) 



ACTION: 
tion. 



Response to petitions for reconsidera- 



SUMMARY: This notice responds to five petitions 
for reconsideration and petitions for rulemaking 
concerning Standard No. 213, Child Restraint 
SysteTHs. In response to the petitions, the agency is 
changing the labehng requirements to permit the 
use of alternative language, modifying the 
minimum radius of curvature requirement for 
restraint system surfaces and extending the 
effective date of the standard from June 1, 1980, to 
January 1, 1981. In addition, several typographic 
errors are corrected in Standard No. 209, Seat Belt 
Assemblies. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The amendments are effective 
on May 1, 1980. The effective date of the standard 
is changed from June 1, 1980, to January 1, 1981. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Mr. Vladislav Radovich, 

Office of Vehicle Standards, 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 

Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-2264) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 
13, 1979, NHTSA published in the FEDERAL 
Register a final rule establishing Standard No. 
213, Child Restraint Systems, and making certain 
amendments to Standard No. 209, Seat Belt 
Assemblies and Anchorages. Subsequently, 
petitions for reconsideration were timely filed with 
the agency by Cosco, General Motors, Juvenile 
Products Manufacturers Association, and Strolee. 
Subsequent to the time for filing petitions for 
reconsideration, Strolee also filed a petition for 



rulemaking to amend the standard. After 
evaluating the petitions, the agency has decided to 
modify, as fully explained below, some of the 
requirements of Standard No. 213. All other 
requests for modification are denied. The agency is 
also correcting several minor typographical errors 
in the text of Standard No. 209. 

LABELING 

Standard No. 213 requires manufacturers to 
place a permanently mounted label on the restraint 
to encourage its proper use. General Motors (GM) 
petitioned for reconsideration of three of the 
labeling requirements. 

Section S5.5.2 (f) of the standard requires each 
child restraint to be labeled with the size and 
weight ranges of children capable of using the 
restraint. In its petition, GM said that the 
requirement could "unnecessarily preclude some 
children from using the restraint or suggest use by 
children too large for the restraint." GM also 
commented that some infant restraints are 
intended to be used from birth and thus the lower 
size and weight limitation serves no purpose. 

In addition, GM said that stating the upper size 
limit for infant restraints in terms of seated height 
rather than in standing height is a more 
appropriate way to set size limitations for infants. 
For example, GM said that an infant with a short 
torso and long legs might be precluded from using 
the restraint if the limitation is stated in terms of 
standing height, while an infant with short legs 
and a torso too long for the restraint would be 
inappropriately included among ones who could 
supposedly use the restraint. GM requested that 
infant restraints be allowed to be labeled with an 
optional statement limiting use by upper weight 
and seated height. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 15 



NHTSA agrees that specifying a lower weight 
and size limit is unnecessary for an infant carrier 
designed to be used from birth and has amended 
the standard accordingly. The agency has decided 
not to adopt GM's proposal to state the upper size 
limit in seating rather than standing height. The 
purpose of the label is to provide important 
instructions and warnings in as simple and 
understandable terms as possible. Standing height, 
rather than seating height, is a measurement 
parents are familiar with and which is commonly 
measured during pediatric examinations. As GM 
pointed out, it is possible to establish a limit based 
on standing height which would exclude any infant 
whose seating height is too high to properly use the 
restraint. Therefore, the agency will continue to 
require the upper size limit to be stated in terms of 
standing height. 

GM also requested that manufacturers be 
allowed to establish a lower usage limit for 
restraints used for older children based on the 
child's ability to sit upright rather than on his or 
her size and weight. GM said the lower limit "is not 
as dependent upon the child's size as it is on the 
child's ability to hold its head up (sit upright) by 
itself. This important capability is achieved at a 
wide range of child sizes." NHTSA agrees that the 
type of label GM proposes can clearly inform 
parents on which chUdren can safely use a 
restraint and therefore will permit use of such a 
label. 

Section S5.5.2(g) of the standard requires the 
use of the word "Warning" preceding the 
statement that failure to follow the manufacturer's 
instructions can lead to injury to a child. GM 
requested that the word "Caution" be permitted as 
an alternative to "Warning." GM said that since 
1975 it has used caution in its labels and owners' 
and service manuals as a lead or signal word where 
the message conveys instructions to prevent 
possible personal injury. GM said that the words 
caution and warning are generally accepted as 
synonymous. 

The agency believes that the word "Warning," 
when used in its ordinary dictionary sense, is a 
stronger term that conveys a greater sense of 
danger than the word "Caution" and thus will 
emphasize the importance of following the 
specified instructions. Therefore, the agency will 
continue to require the use of the word 
"Warning." 

Section S5.5.2(k) of the standard requires 
restraints to be labeled that they are to be used in a 



rear-facing position when used with an infant. GM 
said that while the requirement is appropriate for 
so-called convertible child restraints (restraints 
that can be used by infants in a rear-facing position 
and by children in a forward-facing position), it is 
potentially misleading when used with a restraint 
designed exclusively for infants. GM said the 
current label might imply that the restraint can be 
use in forward-facing positions with children. GM 
recommended that restraints designed only for 
infants be permitted to have the statement, "Place 
this infant restraint in a rear-facing position when 
using it in the vehicle." The agency's purpose for 
establishing the labeling requirement was to 
preclude the apparent widespread misuse of 
restraints designed for infants in a forward-facing 
rather than rear-facing position. Since GM's 
recommended label will accomplish that goal, the 
agency is amending the standard to permit its use. 

RADIUS OF CURVATURE 

Section S5. 2.2. 1(c) of the standard requires 
surfaces designed to restrain the forward 
movement of a child's torso to be flat or convex 
with a radius of curvature of the underlying 
structure of not less than 3 inches. Ford Motor Co. 
objected to the three inch limitation on radius of 
curvature arguing that measuring the radius of 
curvature of the underlying structure would 
eliminate designs that have not produced serious 
injuries in actual crashes. Ford said the shield of its 
Tot-Guard has a radius of curvature from 2.2 to 2.3 
inches and it had no evidence of serious injury 
being caused by the shield when the restraint has 
been properly used. 

The purpose of the radius of curvature 
requirement was to prohibit the use of surfaces 
that might concentrate inpact forces on vulnerable 
portions of a child's body. It was not the agency's 
intent to prohibit existing designs, such as the Tot- 
Guard, which have not produced injuries in actual 
crashes. Since a 2 inch radius of curvature should 
therefore not produce injury, the agency has 
decided to change the radius of curvature 
requirement from 3 to 2 inches. 

Although the standard sets a minimum radius of 
curvature for surfaces designed to restrain the 
forward movement of a child, it does not set a 
minimum surface area for that surface. Prototypes 
of new restraints shown to the agency by some 
manufactiu-ers indicate that they are voluntarily 
incorporating sufficient surface areas in their 
designs. The agency encourages all manufacturers 
to use surface areas at least equivalent to those of 
the designs used by today's better restraints. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 16 



OCCUPANT EXCURSION 

Section S5. 1.3.1 of the standard sets a limit on 
the amount of knee excursion experienced by the 
test dummy during the simulated crash tests. It 
specifies that "at the time of maximum knee 
forward excursion the forward rotation of the 
dummy's torso from the dummy's initial seating 
configuration shall be at least 15° measured in the 
sagittal plane along the line connecting the 
shoulder and hip pivot points." 

Ford Motor Co. objected to the requirements 
that the dummy's torso rotate at least 15 degrees. 
Ford said that it is impossible to measure the 15 
degree angle on restraints such as the Tot-Guard 
since the test dummy "folds around the shield in 
such a manner that there is no 'line' from the 
shoulder to the hip point." In addition, restraints, 
such as the Tot-Guard, that enclose the lower torso 
of the child can conceal the test dummy hip pivot 
point. 

The agency established the knee excursion and 
torso rotation requirements to prevent 
manufacturers from controOing the amount of test 
dummy head excursion by allowing the test dummy 
to submarine excessively during a crash (i.e., 
allowing the test dummy to slide too far downward 
underneath the lap belt and forward, legs first). A 
review of the agency's testing of child restraints 
shows that current designs that comply with the 
knee excursion limit do not allow submarining. 
Since the knee excursion limit apparently will 
provide sufficient protection to prevent 
submarining, the agency has decided to drop the 
torso rotation requirement. If future testing 
discloses any problems with submarining, the 
agency will act to establish a new torso rotation 
requirement as an additional safeguard. 

HEAD IMPACT PROTECTION 
Section 5.2.3 requires that each child restraint 
designed for use by children under 20 pounds have 
energy-absorbing material covering "each system 
surface which is contactable by the dummy head." 
Strolee petitioned the agency to amend this 
requirement because it would prohibit the use of 
unpadded grommets in the child restraint. Strolee 
explained that some "manufacturers use 
grommets to support the fabric portions of a car 
seat where the shoulder belt and lap belt penetrate 
the upholstery. These grommets retain the fabric 
in place and give needed support where the strap 



comes through to the front of the unit." Because of 
the use of the grommets in positioning the energy- 
absorbing padding and belts, the agency does not 
want to prohibit their use. However, to ensure that 
use of the grommets will not compromise the head 
impact protection for the child, the agency will 
only allow grommets or other structures that 
comply with the protrusion limitations specified in 
section S5.2.4. That section prohibits protrusions 
that are more than % of an inch high and have a 
radius of less than V4 inch. Because this 
amendment makes a minor change in the standard 
to relieve a restriction, prior notice and a comment 
period are deemed unnecessary. 

BELT REQUIREMENTS 

Strolee petitioned the agency to amend the 
requirement that all of the belts used in the child 
restraint system must be IV2 inches in width. 
Strolee said that straps used in some restraints to 
position the upper torso restraints have " 'snaps' 
so that the parent may release this positioning belt 
conveniently." Strolee argued that such straps 
should be exempt from the belt width requirement 
since "the snap would release far before any loads 
could be experienced." 

The agency still believes that any belt that comes 
into contact with the child should be of a minimum 
width so as not to concentrate forces on a limited 
area of the child. This requirement would reduce 
the possibility of injury in instances where the snap 
on a positioning strap failed to open. Strolee's 
petition is therefore denied. 

StroUee has also raised a question about the 
interpretation of section S5.4.3.3 on belt systems. 
Strolee asked whether the section requires a 
manufacturer to provide both upper torso belts, a 
lap belt and a crotch strap or whether a 
manufacturer can use a "hybrid" system which 
uses upper torso belts, a shield, in place of a lap 
belt, and a crotch strap. The agency's intent was to 
allow the use of hybrid systems. The agency 
established the minimum radius of curvature 
requirements of section 85.2.2. 1(c) to ensure that 
any shield used in place of a lap or other belt would 
not concentrate forces on a limited area of the 
child's body. NHTSA has amended section 
S5.4.3.3. to clarify the agency's intent. Because 
this is an interpretative amendment, which 
imposes no new restrictions, prior notice and a 
comment period are deemed unnecessary. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 17 



HEIGHT REQUIREMENTS 
Strolee asked the agency to reconsider the 
requirements for seat back surface heights set in 
section S. 5.2. 1.1. Strolee argued that the higher 
seat back required by the standard would restrict 
the driver's rear vision when the child restraint is 
placed in the rear seat. 

The final rule established a new seat back height 
requirement for restraints recommended for use 
by children that weigh more than 40 pounds. To 
provide sufficient protection for those children's 
heads, the agency required the seat back height to 
be 22 inches. The agency explained that the 22 inch 
requirement was based on anthropometric data 
showing that the seating height of children 
weighing 40 or more pounds can exceed 23 inches. 
The agency still believes that 22 inch requirement 
is necessary for the protection of the largest child 
for which the restraint is recommended. NHTSA 
notes that child restraints can be designed to 
accommodate the higher seat backs without 
allowing the overall height of the child restraint to 
unduly hinder the driver's vision. 

PADDING 
In its petition, JPMA claimed that the standard 
"calls for the application of outdated specifications" 
for determining the performance of child restraint 
padding in a 25 percent compression-deflection test. 
A review of the most recent edition of the American 
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) handbook 
shows that the compression-deflection test in two of 
the three ASTM standards (ASTM D1565) 
referenced by the agency has been replaced. 
However, the replacement standard does not contain 
a 25 percent compression-deflection test. Therefore, 
the agency will continue to use the three ASTM 
standards referenced in the December 1979 final 
rule. 

EFFECTIVE DATE 

Cosco, Strolee and the Juvenile Products 
Manufacturers Association (JPMA) petitioned the 
agency for an extension of the June 1, 1980, effective 
date. They requested that the effective date be 
changed to at least January 1, 1981, and Strolee 
requested a delay until March 1, 1981. They argued 
that the June 1, 1980, effective date does not allow 
manufacturers sufficient time to develop, test and 
tool new child restraints. 

Testing done for the agency has shown that many 
of the better child restraint systems currently on the 



market can meet the injury criteria and occupant 
excursion limitation set by the standard. Some of 
those seats would need changes in their labeling, 
removal of arm rests and new belt buckles and 
padding to meet the standard. Such relatively 
minor changes can be made in the time available 
before the June 1, 1980, effective date. 

Several manufacturers have informed the 
agency that they are designing new restraints to 
meet the standard. Based on prototypes of those 
restraints shown to the agency, NHTSA believes 
that these new restraints may be more convenient 
to use, less susceptible to misuse and provide a 
higher overall level of protection than current 
restraints. Based on leadtime information 
provided by individual manufactiirers and the 
JPMA, the agency concludes that extending the 
standard, from June 1, 1980, to January 1, 1981, 
will provide sufficient leadtime. Providing a year's 
leadtime is in agreement with the leadtime 
estimates provided by the manufacturers as to the 
time necessary for design and testing, tooling and 
buckle redesign. 

COMPATIBILITY WITH VEHICLE BELTS 

On December 12, 1979, NHTSA held a public 
meeting on child transportation safety. At that 
meeting, several participants commented about 
the difficulty, and in some cases the impossibility, 
of securing some child restraint systems with a 
vehicle lap belt because the belt will not go around 
the restraint. Testing done by the agency during 
the development of the recently proposed comfort 
and convenience rulemaking also confirms that 
problem. The agency reminds child restraint 
manufacturers that Standard No. 213, Child 
Restraint Systems, requires all child restraints to 
be capable of being restrained by a vehicle lap belt. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 

45 F.R. 29045 
May 1, 1980 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 18 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 

FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems 
(Docitet No. 74-09; Notice 8) 



ACTION: Correction. 

SUMMARY: On May 1, 1980, the agency published a 
notice in the Federal Register responding to peti- 
tions for reconsideration concerning Standard No. 
213, Child Restraint Systems. In response to a 
petition from Ford Motor Co., the agency stated in 
the preamble of the notice that it was eliminating 
the torso rotation requirement of the standard. 
However, the notice inadvertently did not amend 
the standard to delete that requirement. This 
notice makes the necessary amendment. 

DATES: The amendment is effective upon publica- 
tion in the Federal Register, October 6, 1980. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
Stephen Oesch, Office of Chief Counsel, 
National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. (202-426-2992) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 1, 1980, 
the agency published a notice responding to 
several petitions for reconsideration concerning 
Standard No. 213, Child Restraint Systems (45 FR 
29045). 

Among the petitions was one from Ford Motor 
Co. objecting to the requirement that the test 
dummy's torso rotate at least 15 degrees during 
the simulated crash test of the child restraint. 
Ford argued that it is impossible to measure the 15 
degree angle on restraints such as its Tot-Guard 
which enclose the lower torso of the child and thus 
conceal one of the pivot points used in measuring 
the dummy's rotation. 

In response to the Ford petition, the agency 
decided to drop the torso rotation requirement. In 



the May 1 notice, the agency explained that the 
purpose of the requirement was to prevent manu- 
facturers from controlling the amount of head 
excursion by allowing the test dummy to sub- 
marine excessively during a crash (i.e., allowing 
the test dummy to slide too far downward under- 
neath the lap belt and forward, legs first). After 
further reviewing its child restraint test results, 
the agency concluded that restraints meeting the 
knee excursion limit of the standard will provide 
sufficient protection to prevent such submarining. 
Section 5.1.3.1 is revised to read as follows: 
S5.1.3.1 Child restraint systems other than rear- 
facing ones and car beds. In the case of each child 
restraint system other than a rear-facing child 
restraint system or a car bed, the test dummy's 
torso shall be retained within the system and no 
portion of the test dummy's head shall pass 
through the vertical transverse plane that is 32 
inches forward of point z on the standard seat 
assembly, measured along the center SORL (as il- 
lustrated in Figure IB), and neither knee pivot 
point shall pass through the vertical transverse 
plane that is 36 inches forward of point z on the 
standard seat assembly, measured along the 
center SORL. 

Issued on September 26, 1980. 



Michael M. Finkelstein 
Associate Administrator 
for Rulemaking 



45 FR 67095 
October 9, 1980 



PART 571; S213-PRE 19-20 



t 







PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 

FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems 
(Docket No. 74-09; Notice 9) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Standard No. 213, 
Child Restraint Systems, to allow the use of thin- 
ner padding materials in some child restraints. 
The agency proposed the amendment in response 
to a petition for rulemaking filed by General 
Motors Corporation. 

DATES: The amendment is effective on December 
15, 1980. 

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration should 
refer to the docket number and be submitted to: 
Docket Section, Room 5108, National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, 
S.W.. Washington, D.C. 20590. (Docket hours: 8:00 
a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Mr. Vladislav Radovich, Office of Vehicle Safety 
Standards, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-2264) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 
13. 1979, NHTSA issued Standard No. 213, Child 
Restraint Systems (44 FR 72131). The standard 
established new performance requirements for 
child restraints, including requirements for the 
padding used in child restraint systems recom- 
mended for use by children under 20 pounds (i.e., 
infant carriers). 

The padding requirements provide that surfaces 
of the infant carrier that can be contacted by the 
test dummy's head during dynamic testing must 
be padded with a material that meets certain 
thickness and static compression-deflection re- 
quirements. The standard requires that the pad- 



ding must have a 25 percent compression-deflec- 
tion resistance of not less than 0.5 and not more 
than 10 pounds per square inch (psi). Material with 
a resistance of between 3 and 10 psi must have a 
thickness of Vz inch. If the material has a resist- 
ance of less than 3 psi, it must have a thickness of 
at least % inch. 

In response to a petition for rulemaking filed by 
General Motors Corporation (GM), the agency pro- 
posed on October 17, 1980 (45 FR 68694) to modify 
the padding requirements to allow the use of thin- 
ner padding. GM's petition said that the 
compression-deflection resistance of padding is 
sensitive to the rate at which deflection occurs 
during the test procedure. As the deflection rate 
increases during testing, so does the measured 
resistance of the material. GM said that the pad- 
ding used in the head impact area of its child seat 
has a maximum compression-deflection resistance 
of 3 psi. However, several different deflection 
rates are permitted by the American Society for 
Testing and Materials test procedures incor- 
porated into Standard No. 213. GM reported that 
the measured 25 percent compression-deflection 
value of the padding it uses can be as low as 1.8 psi. 

To accommodate variations attributable to the 
use of the different deflection rates permitted in 
the testing, the agency proposed to allow the use 
of padding with a compression-deflection resist- 
ance of 1.8 psi or more to have a minimum thick- 
ness of Vz inch. 

The notice denied GM's petition to permit the 
use of padding with a compression-deflection 
resistance of 0.2 psi and a thickness of 78 or 7* inch. 

GM, the only party that commented on the pro- 
posal, supported the proposed revision. 

GM requested the agency to reconsider its deci- 
sion to prohibit the use of padding with a 
compression-deflection resistance of 0.2 psi. GM 
argued that the field performance of its child 



PART 571; S213-PRE 21 



restraints shows that current padding material is 
effective in reducing deaths and injuries. 

As explained in the October notice, the agency 
agrees that child restraints, such as GM's infant 
carrier, which have an energy-absorbing shell can 
provide effective protection with padding having 
a compression-deflection resistance of 0.2 psi. 
Many infant carriers, however, use rigid plastic 
shells rather than energy absorbing shells. Manu- 
facturers of the rigid plastic shells currently use 
padding with a compression-deflection resistance 
of 0.5 psi. The agency does not want to degrade 
that level of performance and therefore GM's re- 
quest is again denied. 

COSTS 

The agency has assessed the economic and 
other impacts of the proposed change to the pad- 
ding requii'ements and determined that they are 
not significant within the meaning of Executive 
Order 12221 and the D'3partment of Transporta- 
tion's policies and procedures for implementing 
that order. Based on that assessment, the agency 
concludes further that the economic and other 
consequences of this proposal are so minimal that 
additional regulatory evaluation is not warranted. 
When Standard No. 213 was published in the 
Federal Register on December 12, 1979, the agen- 
cy placed in the docket for that rulemaking a 
regulatory evaluation assessing the effect of the 
padding requirements set by the standard. The ef- 
fect of that rule adopted today is to permit the use 
of some padding materials in a thickness of Vz inch 
rather than y* inches. Such a change will slightly 
reduce manufacturer padding costs. 



The agency finds, for good cause shown, that an 
immediate effective date for this amendment is in 
the public interest since it relieves a restriction in 
the standard that goes into effect on January 1, 
1981. 

The principal authors of this notice are Vlad- 
islav Radovich, Office of Vehicle Safety Stand- 
ards, and Stephen Oesch, Office of Chief Counsel. 

For the reasons set out in the preamble. Part 
571 of Chapter V of Title 49, Code of Federal 
Regulations, is amended as set forth below. 
§571.213 [Amended] 

1. 49 CFR Part 571 is amended by revising 

paragraph §S5.2.3.2(b) of §571.213 to read as 

follows: 

* « « « « 

(b) A thickness of not less than Vz inch for 
materials having a 25 percent compression- 
deflection resistance of not less than 1.8 and not 
more than 10 pounds per square inch when tested 
in accordance with S6.3. Materials having 25 per- 
cent compression-deflection resistance of less than 
1.8 pounds per square inch shall have a thickness 
of not less than 'A inch. 

Issued on December 8, 1980. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 

45 FR 82264 
December 15, 1980 



PART 571; S213-PRE 22 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems 
(Docket No. 74-09; Notice 11) 



ACTION: Technical amendment. 

SUMMARY: When the final rule establishing 
Standard No. 213, Child Restraint Systems, was 
issued, it included a section setting requirements 
for a diagram to show the proper installation of a 
child restraint within a vehicle. Although the 
preamble discussed the installation diagram 
requirement, the standard inadvertently did not 
require the diagram to be placed on the restraint. 
This notice makes the necessary technical 
amendment to correct the standard. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 26, 1982. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In May 1978, 
the agency proposed a substantially upgraded 
Standard No. 213, Child Restraint Systems (43 
F.R. 21470). In section 5.5.2(aMk) of the standard, 
the agency proposed requirements for certain 
warning and installation labaels for child 
restraints. In particular, section 5.5.2(k) proposed 
specific requirements for a diagram showing the 
proper installation of a child restraint in a 
vehicle. Section 5.5.1 of the standard proposed 
that all of the labels specified in 5.5.2(a)-(k) would 
have to be placed permanently on the child 
restraint. 

When the agency issued its final rule, it 
expanded the labeling requirements for child 
restraints (44 F.R. 72131). The preamble for the 
final rule discussed the specifics of the expansion 
and the reasons for adopting the labeling 
requirements. Because of the expansion, the 
installation diagram requirement of section 
5.5.2(k) of the proposal was redesignated as 
section 5.5.2(1) in the final rule. Inadvertently, 
section 5.5.1 of the standard was not modified to 
reflect the expansion of the labeling requirements 



and thus it continued to specify that only the 
information found in section 5.5.2(a)-(k) be placed 
on the child restraint. 

Most manufacturers recognized the intent of 
the agency and have placed the correct installation 
diagram on their restraints. A number of 
manufacturers apparently have not included such 
diagrams on their child restraints. 

This notice makes the necessary technical 
amendment to correct the standard to require the 
installation diagram to be placed on a child 
restraint. The effective date of this correction is 
45 days after the publication of this notice in the 
Federal Register. This will allow time for the few 
manufacturers that have not included installation 
diagrams to prepare the needed diagrams for 
their child restraints. 

The agency has determined that there is good 
cause for not providing additional notice and 
opportunity to comment on this technical 
amendment. The public has previously had notice 
and opportunity to comment on the installation 
diagram requirement. This technical amendment 
merely corrects an error arising from the 
redesignation of the installation diagram 
requirement during the rulemaking process. 

Issued on July 2, 1982. 



Courtney M. Price 
Associate Administrator 
for Rulemaking 



47 F.R. 30077 
July 12, 1982 



PART 571; S213-PRE 23-24 



f 



i 



<{ 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems for Use in 

Motor Vehicles and Aircraft 

[Docket No. 74-09; Notice 14] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This final rule amends Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213, Child Restraint 
Systems, so that child restraint systems can be 
certified for use in motor vehicles, or for use in 
both motor vehicles and aircraft. The require- 
ments for certifying child restraints for use in air- 
craft were formerly specified in the Federal Avia- 
tion Administration's (FAA) Technical Standard 
Order (TSO) ClOO, which required that in order for 
child restraint systems to be certified for use in 
aircraft, they must first be certified for use in 
motor vehicles and then pass three additional per- 
formance tests. Simultaneously with the effective 
date of this rule, FAA will rescind the require- 
ments of TSO ClOO and take action to permit child 
restraints certified under the requirements of this 
rule to be used in aircraft. 

The notice of proposed rulemaking which 
preceded this final rule proposed to add the three 
performance requirements of the TSO and one 
additional performance requirement for restraints 
with tether straps to Standard No. 213. This rule 
adopts one of the three performance requirements 
of the TSO, the inversion test, and requires that 
child restraint manufacturers wishing to certify 
their products for use in both motor vehicles and 
aircraft certify that the product complies with the 
requirements of that test. The other performance 
requirements proposed in the notice are not incor- 
porated in this rule because a joint testing pro- 
gram conducted by FAA and NHTSA last year 
showed these requirements to be redundant. Child 
restraints which passed the existing higher perfor- 
mance requirements in Standard No. 213 easily 



passed the requirements of the TSO, which in- 
dicates that those TSO requirements are unneces- 
sary to establish that child restraints are effective 
in the differing environment of the aircraft in- 
terior. Accordingly, compliance with those re- 
quirements is no longer required to certify child 
restraints for use in aircraft. 

Child restraints which are certified for use in 
both motor vehicles and aircraft will be required to 
be labeled in red with the phrase "THIS RE- 
STRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR 
VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT". Child restraints 
certified only for use in motor vehicles will not be 
required to change the information currently re- 
quired by Standard 213 on their labels. 

By combining and simplifying the requirements 
for certifying child restraints for use in motor 
vehicles and aircraft, FAA and NHTSA hope to en- 
courage more child restraint manufacturers to cer- 
tify their products for use in both modes of 
transportation. The ultimate goal of seeking more 
models of child restraints to be certified for use in 
both motor vehicles and aircraft is to encourage 
families traveling by air to use child restraints for 
their children before, during, and after the air 
travel portion of their trips. 



EFFECTIVE DATE: 

March 30, 1985. 



This rule becomes effective 



SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule 
amends Standard No. 213, Child Restraint Sys- 
tems (49 CFR §571.213). so that child restraint 
systems can be certified for use in both motor 
vehicles and aircraft, or simply for use in motor 
vehicles. These amendments are intended to en- 
courage families traveling by air to use child 



PART 571; S213-PRE 25 



restraints to protect their children before, during, 
and after the air travel portion of their trips. 

Background 

Need for Increased Use of Child Restraints. 
Parents cannot adequately protect their very 
young children against the risk of death and injury 
while riding in motor vehicles or aircraft either by 
holding them in their lap or by fastening a lap belt 
around them. The forces generated during sudden 
stops even at speeds as low as 10-15 miles per hour 
(mph) make it physically impossible for a parent to 
hold and protect a child in his or her arms. Using a 
lap belt is better, but it is still inadequate for this 
purpose (particularly for children under the age of 
1 year) because of the physical dimensions, bone 
structure, and weight distribution of young 
children. 

The most effective protection that can be af- 
forded these young children are special supple- 
mentary seating devices, which are attached to 
and secured by the lap belt in the vehicle or air- 
craft. These devices, generically referred to as 
child restraints, are specifically designed to take 
into account the physiological differences between 
young children and older children and adults, and 
to offer the appropriate protection for these young 
children exposed to the large energy levels in- 
herent in vehicle crashes. 

Efforts to Promote Increased Use of Child 
Restraints. The NHTSA has been working hard to 
promote the use of child restraints by more 
parents. The agency has been advising the various 
States on the drafting of mandatory child restraint 
use laws. Such laws have now been enacted in 49 
States and the District of Columbia. These laws 
have significantly increased the sales and use of 
child restraints, and increased the public aware- 
ness of the safety consequences of allowing 
children to travel unrestrained in motor vehicles. 

In addition, the NHTSA has been working to 
educate the public on the benefits of child 
restraints. Working with medical professionals, 
childbrith educational programs and others, the 
agency has provided information to pediatricians 
and prospective parents on ways to protect their 
children in motor vehicles. Further, the agency has 
developed manuals on how to develop a child 
restraint leaner program that can assist parents 
unable to afford their own child restraints. 

All of these factors have succeeded in greatly in- 
creasing the use of child restraints for children 



riding in motor vehicles. Currently, restraint uage 
for infants less than 1 year old is about 68 per- 
cent; and for children ages 1 to 4 the rate is 44 per- 
cent; based on the agency's continuing survey of 
restraint usage in 19 cities. 

Impediments to Increased Use of Child Restraints. 

This heightened use and awareness, combined 
with the limited number of child restraint models 
which can be used in both motor vehicles and air- 
craft, caused confusion and frustration for families 
traveling by air and car. Both NHTSA and FAA 
have standards for child restraints. Until recently, 
of the 42 models of child restraints certified under 
NHTSA's Standard No. 213 for use in motor vehi- 
cles, only five models were also approved under the 
FAA's standard for use in aircraft. If a family tried 
to take one of the remaining 37 models of child 
restraints, they were usually required to check the 
restraint along with the rest of their luggage. This 
discouraged families from traveling with the unap- 
proved child restraints, and resulted in the child 
not having the benefit of the safety seat not only 
during the takeoff and landing of the aircraft, but 
also when the family was driving in a motor vehi- 
cle on the ground portions of the trip. 

From a safety viewpoint, data on injuries and 
fatalities show that travel by air is much safer 
than by motor vehicle. For children up to 4 years 
of age, approximately one fatality and 10 injuries 
occur yearly during commercial air travel vs. over 
600 fatalities and 70,000 injuries to motor vehicle 
occupants. Consequently, the main benefits from 
the use of child restraints will be derived from the 
motor vehicle portion of the trip. 

The NHTSA Child Restraint Standard 

As an initial step toward ensuring that child 
restraint systems would offer adequate portection 
to their occupants, NHTSA issued Standard No. 
213 in 1970. That standard, which was issued 
under the authority granted in the National Traf- 
fic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, as 
amended (hereinafter "the Safety Act"; 15 U.S.C. 
1381 et seq.), became effective in 1971. As then 
drafted, it specified various static tests to ensure 
the safe performance of child restraints. However, 
subsequent data showed that child restraints 
which passed these static tests might not prove ef- 
fective at protecting a child in certain vehicle 
crash situations. 



PART571;S213-PRE26 



Under the current standard, which became ef- 
fective January 1, 1981, the performance of child 
restraint systems is evaluated in dynamic tests 
under conditions simulating a frontal crash of an 
average car at 30 mph. The restraint is anchored 
by a lap belt and, if provided with the restraint, by 
a supplemental anchorage belt (known as a tether 
strap). An additional frontal impact test at 20 mph 
is conducted for restraints equipped with either 
tether straps or internal harnes and a restraint 
surface. In that additional test, child restraints 
with tether straps are tested with the straps 
detached and child restraints with a restraint sur- 
face (e.g., a padded shield) are tested with the 
restraint surface in place but with the child 
restraint system's internal harness unbuckled. The 
additional 20 mph tests are intended to ensure a 
minimum level of safety performance when the 
restraints are improperly used. Thus, child 
restraints with tethers or with a restraint surface 
are tested at both 20 and 30 mph, while those 
without tethers or such a surface are tested at 30 
mph only. Both the 20 mph and the 30 mph tests 
are conducted with the child restraint fastened to 
a seat representing the typical motor vehicle 
bench seat. 

To protect the child, limits are set on the 
amount of force exerted on the head and chest of a 
child test dummy during the dynamic testing of 
restraints specified for children over 20 pounds. 
Limits are also set on the amount of frontal head 
and knee excursions experienced by the test dum- 
my in forward-facing child restraints. To prevent a 
small child from being ejected from a rearward- 
facing restraint, limits are set on the amount that 
the seat can tip forward and on the amount of ex- 
cursion experienced by the test dummy during the 
simulated crash. 

Compliance of child restraints with Standard 
No. 213 is assured by the requirement in the 
Safety Act that manufacturers certify compliance 
for each child restraint. The agency may review 
the basis for that certification and conduct testing 
to assure compliance. The Safety Act provides for 
the assessment of civil penalties for failures to 
comply with applicable safety standards, and for 
certifications which the manufacturer in the exer- 
cise of due care has reason to know are false or 
misleading in a material respect. 

The FAA Child Restraint Standard 
In May 1982, the FAA issued its own child 



restraint standard. Technical Standard Order 
(TSO) ClOO. One of the key factors underlying the 
development of TSO ClOO was child restraint 
testing conducted by the Civil Aeromedical In- 
stitute in 1974. The results of that testing ap- 
peared in FAA test report "Child Restraint Sys- 
tems for Civil Aircraft" (FAA-AM-78-12, March 
1978). Another factor was the FAA's determina- 
tion that differences in the environments of air- 
craft and motor vehicles necessitated its establish- 
ing performance requirements to address the spe- 
cial safety risks posed to young children traveling 
in aircraft. One of these differences is the tendency 
of the seat back of aircraft seats to fold forward 
with the application of a very low force. The FAA 
determined that there was a need to control the in- 
teraction between the young child, especially 
those facing rearward in a child restraint, and the 
seat back to ensure that the seat back does not ap- 
ply unacceptable levels of force onto the child. The 
FAA also determined that there was a need to ad- 
dress the danger that in-flight turbulence (espe- 
cially in the upward direction) might throw a child 
out of his or her child restraint. 

Accordingly, the FAA drafted TSO ClOO so that 
it requires each child restraint to meet the re- 
quirements of NHTSA's Standard No. 213 and four 
additional requirements. First, while attached to 
an aircraft passenger seat with a free-folding seat 
back by an aircraft safety belt, and occupied by a 
test dummy, each child restraint must provide pro- 
tection in an impact producing a 20 mph velocity 
change. There is no double testing of child 
restraints with tethers as under Standard No. 213. 
Such restraints are tested only once in an impact 
and with their tethers unattached. Second, each 
child restraint must retain its occupant during an 
inversion test. Third, each child restraint must 
withstand the static forces specified in Federal 
Aviation Regulations §25.561 (14 CFR §25.561), 
with each of the forces acting separately. Fourth, 
TSO ClOO specifies requirements for marking 
child restraints with assembly and usage instruc- 
tions, providing a copy of such instruction to child 
restraint users and submitting a copy of these in- 
structions and various technical information and 
test results to the FAA. In addition, the TSO pro- 
cedures require the establishment and mainte- 
nance of a manufacturer quality control system. 
The quality control system is intended to assure 
that seats are manufactured in such a way as to 
meet the standard's performance requirements. 



PART 571; 8213 -PRE 27 



For a child restraint to be approved for use in 
aircraft, the manufacturer must submit specified 
information to the FAA along with a certifying 
statement that the restraint meets the require- 
ments of TSO ClOO. After the FAA approval is 
issued, if airlines permit, the restraint can be used 
for infants or young children during all phases of 
flight, including takeoff and landing. Once the 
FAA approved a particular model of child re- 
straint, that agency followed a policy of accepting 
child restraints of that model that were manufac- 
tured prior to the date of approval for use in air- 
craft during all phases of flight, provided that 
those earlier child restraints were substantially 
identical to the approved one and were properly 
identified as to make and model by a Standard No. 
213 certification label. 

The result of these differing requirements was 
that only a few of the child restraints certified for 
use in motor vehicles were also certified for use in 
aircraft. In 1983, the National Transportation 
Safety Board (NTSB) considered the safety prob- 
lems facing young children traveling in motor 
vehicles and aircraft and urged that a variety of ac- 
tions be taken to promote the use of child re- 
straints. It urged that all States adopt laws re- 
quiring that infants and young children be placed 
in child restraints when riding in motor vehicles. It 
also recommended that the DOT simplify its stan- 
dards specifying performance requirements for 
child restraints by combining all technical re- 
quirements into a single standard (NTSB Safety 
Recommendations A-83-1, issued February 24, 
1983). 

After considering the benefits which would 
result from the increased use of child restraints, 
the FAA and the NHTSA jointly concluded that 
the process of certifying child restraints for use in 
both motor vehicles and aircraft could and should 
be simplified and expedited. By combining the 
separate NHTSA and FAA standards into a single 
standard under the jurisdiction of a single agency, 
child restraint manufacturers could avoid the dif- 
ficulties of dealing with different standards, 
methods of certification, and testing procedures 
promulgated by the two agencies. Accordingly, a 
notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was 
published at 48 FR 36849, August, 1983. 

Details of the NPRM 

The NPRM proposed that the NHTSA would be 
the sole agency responsible for enforcing the new 



Standard No. 213, which would be applicable to 
child restraint systems designed for use in both 
motor vehicles and aircraft. In essence, the NPRM 
proposed that the requirements in both agencies 
standards for child restraints be unchanged and 
simply combined into an expanded Standard No. 
213, with one further performance test added for 
child restraints to be certified for use in aircraft. 
This would avoid the problems inherent in dealing 
with the differing certification procedures of the 
two agencies and consolidate all of the require- 
ments into one standard. 

Under the proposal, manufacturers which 
elected to certify their child restraints for use on 
aircraft would have to certify that these restraints 
could pass those four additional tests. Those 
manufacturers which did not elect to certify their 
restraints for use on aircraft would not have to 
make that certification. The existing requirements 
in Standard No. 213 applicable to child restraints 
certified for use in motor vehicles were not pro- 
posed to be changed in any way by the NPRM. 
What was proposed was simply an option for 
manufacturers to subject their restraints to some 
additional testing if they wanted to certify those 
restraints for use on aircraft. 

Three of the four additional performance tests 
proposed to be added to Standard No. 213 for child 
restraints certified for use on aircraft were drawn 
almost verbatim from the FAA's child restraint 
standard. These additional tests were proposed to 
be required to ensure that child restraints cer- 
tified for use in aircraft would offer adequate pro- 
tection to young children in the unique interior en- 
vironment of aircraft. 

The first additional test proposed in the NPRM 
was a dynamic impact test at 20 mph for all 
restraints not equipped with a tether strap. The 
child restraint would be attached to a represen- 
tative aircraft seat only by the aircraft seat belt at- 
tached to the aircraft seat. The child restraint 
would not be permitted to fail or deform in a man- 
ner that could seriously injure or prevent subse- 
quent extrication of the occupant. This test was 
taken almost verbatim from paragraph (a)(2)(i) of 
TSO ClOO. 

The second additional test proposed in the 
NPRM would apply only to child restraints 
equipped with a tether strap. These restraints 
would be tested under the same procedures as un- 
tethered restraints, except that the impact would 
be at 30 mph with the tether strap unattached. The 



PART 571; S213-PRE 28 



same criteria for determining satisfactory perfor- 
mance specified above for untethered restraints 
would again be used. This requirement was not 
drawn from TSO ClOO. However, NHTSA decided 
to include the requirement because the FAA 
believed that, since aircraft seats have no place to 
which the tether strap could be anchored, it was 
necessary to subject such restraints to a more 
stringent performance test to ensure that these 
restraints would offer adequate aircraft safety. 

The third test proposed in the NPRM was an in- 
version test. Its purpose is to ensure that the child 
restraint could protect the child from air tur- 
bulence. The test, drawn directly from the lan- 
guage of paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of TSO ClOO, would 
have required the combination of a child restraint, 
test dummy, and aircraft passenger seat to be 
rotated to an inverted position and held there 
without any failure or deformation of the child 
restraint that would seriously injure or prevent 
the subsequent removal of the occupant. 

The fourth additional test proposed in the 
NPRM would have required each child restraint to 
withstand the ultimate inertia forces specified in 
14 CFR §25.561, with each of those forces acting 
separately. This requirement was specified in 
paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of TSO ClOO. Engineering 
analysis would have been acceptable in lieu of ac- 
tual testing to establish compliance with this pro- 
posed requirement. 

The procedures to be followed in conducting 
these tests or analyses were drawn from para- 
graph (aK2Kiv) of TSO ClOO. They provided for the 
testing or analysis of child restraints to determine 
their adequacy for protecting the weight and 
stature of child for which the restraint is designed. 
The test dummies to be used were those specified 
in section S7 of Standard No. 213. Other pro- 
cedural provisions related to the placing of the test 
dummy in the restraint, the attaching of the re- 
straint to the aircraft seat, and the design of the 
aircraft seat. 

As noted above, the NPRM gave child restraint 
manufacturers an option either to certify their 
restraints for use in both motor vehicles and air- 
craft or to certify the restraints only for use in 
motor vehicles. Those electing the latter option 
would have been required by the NPRM to include 
the statement, "THIS RESTRAINT IS NOT CER- 
TIFIED FOR USE IN AIRCRAFT", on the certifi- 
cation label and operating instructions for the 
child restraint. This labeling requirement was pro- 



posed to ensure that parents seeking to buy 
restraints for use in both modes of transportation 
and airline flight attendants would easily ascertain 
whether a particular child restraint was not cer- 
tified for use in aircraft. 

The NPRM also announced that FAA and 
NHTSA would jointly test many models of child 
restraints for compliance with the TSO ClOO re- 
quirements. The test results generated by this 
program were made available to the manufac- 
turers of the tested restraints to assist them to 
certify their child restraints for use in both modes 
of transportation. 

FAA-NHTSA Testing of Child Restraints 

The testing program evaluated all 42 models of 
child restraints currently manufactured and cer- 
tified as meeting the requirements of Standard 
No. 213 to determine whether they complied also 
with the existing requirements of TSO ClOO. (See 
DOT HS-806-413) There was some preliminary dif- 
ficulty in determining how to establish whether a 
child restraint system had "failed or deformed in a 
manner that could seriously injure or prevent 
subsequent extrication of a child occupant," the 
criterion for determining compliance with the 
tests in TSO ClOO. The two agencies agreed to use 
the performance requirements specified in section 
S5 of Standard No. 213, but to exclude the head 
and chest acceleration requirements set forth in 
section S5.1.2. 

All 42 models of child restraints, including the 
11 which have tether straps, were subjected to the 
20 mph dynamic test while attached to a represen- 
tative aircraft seat, and all passed by a con- 
siderable margin. Similarly, the three tethered 
child seats and eight tethered booster seats were 
subjected to a 30 mph impact with the tether unat- 
tached, and all again passed by a considerable 
margin. The performance of the three tethered 
child seats was not appreciably different than was 
registered by them in the 20 mph impact test, and 
the head and knee excursions measured in this test 
were well under those recorded for the restraints 
in the Standard No. 213 tests. All 42 models were 
subjected to the TSO ClOO inversion test, and all 
42 were deemed to have passed those require- 
ments. Additionally, all 42 models were subjected 
to the static loading tests at the levels specified in 
TSO ClOO, and all 42 passed the test. 

All 42 models were also tested to the require- 
ments of "old" Standard No. 213, which required 



PART571;S213-PRE29 



the restraint to withstand inertia loads approxi- 
mately 3 times greater than those specified in 
TSO ClOO. Standard No. 213 was upgraded from 
these old requirements primarily because of the 
structural failures which occurred in 30 mph 
dynamic tests of restraints which met the static 
load requirements under the old version of the 
standard. NHTSA believed that any of the re- 
straints which could satisfy the dynamic testing 
requirements of the new Standard No. 213 would 
also satisfy the static loading requirements of the 
old standard. Since the loads required under the 
old standard were approximately 3 times the 
level required by the TSO, any devices which could 
satisfy the old standard would ipso facto satisfy 
the TSO requirements. 

In this testing to the levels prescribed under the 
old standard, 40 of 42 models of child restraints 
passed. The two restraints which failed the tests 
did so in only one direction, and at load levels 2V2 
times those required in the TSO. 

The joint testing program made it possible for 
the manufacturers of every model of child 
restraint currently produced to seek prompt FAA 
approval for the restraints under TSO ClOO. This 
has expedited the process for certifying current 
models of child restraints for both aircraft and 
motor vehicle use. At present 36 models have 
received TSO approval. 

However, the Department of Transportation 
still believes that it is necessary to proceed with a 
final rule in this area. As a practical matter, new 
child restraints will be introduced into the market, 
and those models would face the same obstacles 
which were confronted by current models before 
the completion of the joint testing program. It is 
poor regulatory policy to subject manufacturers to 
needless and repetitious testing of the identical 
product to satisfy slightly differing requirements 
of two different agencies. These considerations im- 
pel FAA and NHTSA to proceed to a final rule at 
this time, so that the situation which existed prior 
to the joint testing program does not recur at some 
future date. 

Comments 

Most of the more than 20 commenters on the 
NPRM endorsed the concept of combining the 
FAA and NHTSA standards into one standard. 
Some of the commenters expressed qualified sup- 
port for the concept, but reserved final judgment 
until the results of the joint testing program were 
made available to the public. 



Only one commenter opposed the basic concept 
of combining the two standards, and that opposi- 
tion was based on the belief that NHTSA was 
neither competent nor properly equipped to 
regulate items related to avaiation and the aircraft 
industry. First, NHTSA believes it should be em- 
phasized that this rule was developed with the 
cooperation and support of the FAA, which cer- 
tainly has the necessary expertise regarding the 
aviation industry. Further, child restraints are not 
items which are uniquely related to aviation and 
the aircraft industry; most of the lifesaving 
benefits of child restraints accrue while the young 
child is riding in a motor vehicle. Finally, both 
NHTSA and FAA gained new knowledge about 
the interplay of the aircraft seat, child restraint, 
and child during a sudden deceleration during the 
recently completed joint testing program. For 
these reasons, the agencies believe it is ap- 
propriate to go forward with this rulemaking. 

Several comments raised issues outside the 
scope of this rulemaking. These included permissi- 
ble seat positions for approved child restraints in 
aircraft, retroactive certification for aircraft use of 
models recently approved for such use, the extent 
to which individual airlines must examine the 
restraint's certification to determine its validity, 
differences in the various airlines' policies permit- 
ting the use of child restraints, and so forth. This 
rulemaking is addressing only the steps child 
restraint manufacturers must take to certify their 
products for use in motor vehicles and aircraft. 
The procedures regulating the actual use of the 
restraints in aircraft are not being addressed 
herein; such procedures will be decided solely by 
the FAA. These and other questions on the pro- 
cedures should be addressed to that agency. 

The commenters made several objections to 
each of the four proposed additional requirements, 
to which compliance would have to be certified if a 
manufacturer wanted to certify its child restraint 
for use in aircraft. Regarding the first proposed 
additional test that child restraints without tether 
straps be tested in an aircraft seat at a 20 mph im- 
pact, these commenters argued that all child 
restraints certified as complying with Standard 
No. 213 are already subjected to a 30 mph impact 
in the more severe environment of a car seat. Ac- 
cordingly, this argument continued, the proposal 
to require a lower speed test in a less severe en- 
vironment would simply add to the testing burden 
for child restraint manufacturers, without en- 
suring any higher degree of safety. 



PART 571; S213-PRE 30 



One of the child restraint manufacturers cor- 
rectly noted in its comments that the reason for 
proposing the 20 mph test in the aircraft seat was 
the concern that the more flexible back of such a 
seat could snap forward on impact and hit the child 
restraint and/or child with additional crash forces 
and that those additional forces would not be con- 
sidered in the 30 mph test with the restraint at- 
tached to a car seat. This commenter suggested 
that their own testing and some NHTSA tests in 
1982 showed that the back of the aircraft seat does 
not exert significant forces relative to the crash 
forces. The commenter concluded that NHTSA 
should delete this proposed requirement unless 
the joint testing program showed some evidence 
that significant forces were actually exerted. 

The joint testing program showed that the 
forces to which the test dummy and restraint are 
subjected in the 20 mph dynamic test in the air- 
craft seat were 1/3 to 1/2 less than those to which 
they were subjected in the 30 mph dynamic test in 
the car seat. This finding was hardly significant or 
surprising, given the lower speed at impact. 

A far more significant finding was made re- 
garding the amount of the loading imposed by the 
flexible aircraft seat back on the restrained dum- 
my. For this testing, the aircraft seat back was in- 
strumented with a triaxial accelerometer so that 
quantitative assessments of the produced forces 
could be made. Inspection of the acceleration-time 
histories and the loads measured on the aircraft 
seat belts revealed that in every test the max- 
imum forces generated by the child restraints (as 
measured by the test dummy and including the 
peak head and chest accelerations and the peak 
belt loads) occurred some 25-40 milliseconds before 
the occurrence of the peak acceleration of the seat 
back. Also, the magnitude of the head and chest ac- 
celerations imparted to the child seat occupant by 
the restraining action of child seats were much 
higher than those imparted later on by the action 
of the aircraft seat back. These facts indicate that 
the loads imparted when the seat back struck the 
child restraint and its occupant are relatively 
insignificant when compared with the loads im- 
parted by the crash. Confirmation of this was 
found in the fact that the seat back acceleration 
had no significant influence on the head and chest 
accelerations measured in the test dummies. How- 
ever, the loads measured on the aircraft seat belt 
were increased during the seat back acceleration. 
This finding suggests that the load exerted by the 



acceleration of the seat back is transferred direct- 
ly through the structure of the child restraint to 
the seat belt. This fact would again confirm the 
view that the seat back acceleration poses no 
threat to the occupant of a child restraint. 

Based on these results, which occurred in each 
test, NHTSA believes that it has been established 
that seat back acceleration poses an inconsequen- 
tial threat to occupants of child restraints, and that 
any restraint which protects its occupant against 
the crash forces will adequately protect its occu- 
pant against the forces generated by the seat back 
acceleration. Given these conclusions, it is un- 
necessary to test child restraints for their ability 
to protect a child against the threat of the folding 
aircraft seat back. Accordingly, the agency has 
deleted the requirement that child restraints be 
certified for use in aircraft capable of protecting a 
restrained child in a 20 mph impact when attached 
to an aircraft seat. 

Many of the commenters objected to the re- 
quirement that tethered restraints be subjected to 
a 30 mph crash in an aircraft seat with the tether 
unattached. The rationale for these objections was 
perhaps best summed up in the NTSB comment. 
The NTSB stated that it could understand sub- 
jecting restraints with tethers to the same test as 
restraints without tethers, and not permitting the 
restraints with tethers to have their tether strap 
attached during the test. Such a proposal would 
ensure that these restraints could pass the same 
requirements as other child restraints, and that 
they could do so under the conditions present in 
aircraft; i.e., with their tether straps unattached. 
However, the NTSB continued, it was not justifi- 
able to require these restraints to undergo a more 
severe test than other restraints. One child 
restraint manufacturer commented that this 30 
mph test requirement would not ensure any 
higher level of safety on aircraft since the aircraft 
seats themselves would not withstand a 30 mph 
impact. This commenter went on to say that in an 
actual crash at 30 mph, there is as much potential 
of injury to the child from the failure of the aircraft 
seat itself as from the failure of the child restraint. 

As indicated above in the section summarizing 
the joint testing program, the tests conducted on 
child restraints with tethers showed that all of 
those restraints easily passed this 30 mph crash 
test requirement, that the results were not much 
higher than were those measured in the 20 mph 
tests, and that the results showed an appreciably 



PART 571; S213-PRE 31 



lower force level for the restraints in this test than 
were obtained in the Standard No. 213 misuse test. 
Given the conclusion that the seat back accelera- 
tion does not transmit any significant forces to the 
occupant of the child restraint and the fact that 
this test imposes lower crash forces than the Stan- 
dard No. 213 tests, it seems unnecessary to require 
the child restraint manufacturers to certify com- 
pliance with this test. The points made in the com- 
ments on this proposal also are convincing, so it 
has been determined not to incorporate this test in 
the final rule. 

The third proposed additional test was an inver- 
sion test whose purpose is to ensure that the child 
restraints certified for use in aircraft could ade- 
quately protect the child against the dangers 
posed by sudden air turbulence. The commenters 
who addressed this issue seemed to generally 
agree that this was a hazard which child restraints 
for use in aircraft should protect against and that 
restraints which passed the requirements of Stan- 
dard No. 213 would not necessarily pass this test. 
NHTSA also believes that the inversion test was 
not shown to be redundant of existing test pro- 
cedures, and has determined that this test should 
be incorporated in this final rule. The re- 
quirements for this inversion test are adopted ver- 
batim from those proposed in the NPRM. Several 
commenters questioned some of the inversion test 
procedures and offered suggested alternatives. 
The agency agrees that some refinements could be 
made. However, it is necessary first to issue a new 
NPRM. The NPRM, which proposes to amend the 
requirements for the inversion test adopted in this 
rule, discusses these comments further. 

The fourth additional test proposed in the 
NPRM was a static load test. Several commenters 
questioned the need for the relatively low inertial 
loads of that test to be applied to the restraints, 
considering the much greater loads to which the 
child restraint is subjected in the testing for Stan- 
dard No. 213. This fact, together with the joint 
testing results which showed that all currently 
produced child restraints can withstand loads at 
least 2V2 times greater than those specified in this 
proposed test, leads NHTSA to conclude that this 
test is redundant and does not ensure any higher 
level of safety. Accordingly, it is not adopted in 
this final rule. 

Several commenters addressed the criteria used 
to determine if a child retraint has passed the two 
simulated crash tests and the inversion test appli- 



cable to restraints for aircraft use. These criteria 
were that the child restraint system "may not fail 
nor deform in a manner that could seriously injure 
or prevent subsequent extrication of a child occu- 
pant." Some of the child retraint manufacturers 
asked precisely how one determines if a restraint 
has failed or deformed in such a manner. Another 
commenter opined that those criteria "are so 
vague and subjective as to be of no substantive 
value whatsoever." 

NHTSA agrees with these commenters' judg- 
ment that the criteria for determining compliance 
could be made more objective. However, the Ad- 
ministrative Procedure Act requires that in- 
terested persons be given notice of proposed rule- 
making and an opportunity to comment thereon 
prior to an agency's adopting changed require- 
ments as a final rule (5 U.S.C. 553). This provision 
of the law prevents the agency from adopting 
these more objective criteria in this final rule, 
because the interested persons would not have had 
an opportunity to comment on those criteria. Ac- 
cordingly, NHTSA is today publishing a notice of 
proposed rulemaking to incorporate more objec- 
tive criteria for the inversion test. This notice has 
a 45-day comment period, to provide any in- 
terested persons with the chance to comment on 
the changes while allowing the agency to move 
promptly to incorporate more objective criteria. 

Most of the commenters addressed the issues 
raised by the language proposed to be labeled on 
child restraints which were certified only for use 
in motor vehicles. The NPRM proposed that such 
child restraints have the statement "THIS RE- 
STRAINT IS NOT CERTIFIED FOR USE IN AN 
AIRCRAFT." A number of commenters opposed 
this "negative" labeling because it could give con- 
sumers the impression that such a restraint was 
not as safe for motor vehicle use as a restraint 
which was certified for use in both aircraft and 
motor vehicles. In fact, both restraints would have 
been certified as passing the same dynamic tests 
for use in motor vehicles. Other problems alleged 
to exist with this labeling scheme were that con- 
sumers would not be sure whether a child 
restraint not bearing such a label could be used 
safely in aircraft, and that this "negative" labeling 
could result in older, unlabeled and uncertified 
seats being used on aircraft. Further, the proposed 
labeling could make it difficult for flight atten- 
dants to determine which restraints were actually 
approved for use in aircraft, causing delays and 



PART571;S213-PRE32 



frustration for parents wishing to use child 
restraints on flights. These commenters all re- 
quested that the "negative" labeling proposed in 
the NPRM be replaced with a simple positive 
statement in the final rule. 

NHTSA agrees with these comments. The infor- 
mational purposes of the labeling requirement 
would be better served by simple positive declara- 
tions. The labeling requirement adopted in the 
final rule specifies that child restraints certified 
for use only in motor vehicles recite the same cer- 
tification that is currently required, with no addi- 
tional statements, and those restraints certified 
for use in both motor vehicles and aircraft simply 
add a statement of that dual certification. 

Finally, a child restraint manufacturer asked 
that the final rule clarify the standard aircraft seat 
assembly to be used for testing the child restrsint. 
The NPRM stated in section S7.3(b) that a "repre- 
sentative aircraft passenger seat" be used. The 
term "representative aircraft passenger seat" was 
defined S5 of the NPRM as either a production 
seat approved by the FAA or a simulated seat con- 
forming to Drawing Package SAS-100-2000. 
NHTSA believes this definition is clear, and will 
result in consistent test results. No furtlier 
changes to this definition have been made in this 
final rule. 

0MB Clearance 

The labeling requirements for child restraints 
are considered to be information collection re- 
quirements, as that term is defined by the Office of 
Management and Budget (0MB) in 5 CFR Part 
1320. 0MB has approved the labeling require- 
ments for child restraints certified for use in motor 
vehicles (CMB No. 2127-0511), but has not ap- 
proved the labeling requirements for child re- 
straints certified for use in motor vehicles and air- 
craft. Accordingly, those labeling requirements 
have been submitted to the 0MB for its approval, 
pursuant to the requirements of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). A 
notice will be published in the Federal Register 
when 0MB approves this information collection. 



Impacts 

NHTSA has analyzed the impacts of this rule 
and determined that the rule is not "major" within 
the meaning of Executive Order 12291, but is 



"significant" within the meaning of the Depart- 
ment of Transportation regulatory policies and 
procedures. The rule simplifies and combines the 
requirements of two existing government regula- 
tios into one regulation. It would not impose any 
new burdens upon any manufacturer. If a child 
restraint manufacturer wishes to continue certify- 
ing one of its child restraint models for use in 
motor vehicles only, the requirements for doing so 
are unchanged and the testing costs would remain 
at about $3,500. If a child restraint manufacturer 
wishes to certify a model for use in motor vehicles 
and aircraft, its testing costs under Standard No. 
213 would increase by about $1,500 to a total of 
about $5,000. However, the total testing costs for 
certifying a model to this combined Standard No. 
213 will be less than the total testing costs for cer- 
tifying compliance with Standard No. 213 and TSO 
ClOO (estimated at about $8,000). Further, this cost 
reduction and the need to certify to only one agen- 
cy's regulation, instead of two agencies' regula- 
tions, should provide a slightly reduced cost of 
compliance for those child restraint manufacturers 
that choose to certify their products for use in 
motor vehicles and aircraft. Although these im- 
pacts are minimal, a regulatory evaluation has 
been prepared. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the following 
amendments are made to section 571.213, Child 
Restraint Systems, of Title 49 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations. 

1. Section SI is amended to read as follows: 

51. Scope. This standard specifies requirements 
for child restraint systems used in motor vehicles 
and aircraft. 

2. Section S2 is amended to read as follows: 

52. Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to 
reduce the number of children killed or injured in 
motor vehicle crashes and in aircraft. 

3. Section S3 is amended to read as follows: 

53. Application. This standard applies to child 
restraint systems for use in motor vehicles and 
aircraft. 

4. The definition of "Child restraint system" in 
section S4 is amended to read as follows: 

"Child restraint system" means any device 
except Type I or Type II seat belts, designed for 
use in a motor vehicle or aircraft to restrain, 
seat, or position children who weigh 50 pounds or 
less. 

5. Section S4 is amended by adding the follow- 
ing new definitions in alphabetical order: 



PART 571; S213-PRE 33 



"Representative aircraft passenger seat" means 
either a Federal Aviation Administration ap- 
proved production aircraft passenger seat or a 
simulated aircraft passenger seat conforming to 
Drawing Package SAS-100-2000. 

6. Section S5 is amended to read as follows: 
S5. Requirements for child restraint systems 

certified for use in motor vehicles. Each child 
restraint certified for use in motor vehicles shall 
meet the requirements in this section when, as 
specified, tested in accordance with S6.1. 

7. Section S5.5.2 is revised by the addition of a 
new paragraph (m) which reads as follows: 

(m) Child restraints that are certified as com- 
plying with the provisions of section S8 shall be 
labeled with the statement "THIS RESTRAINT 
IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR VEHICLES 
AND AIRCRAFT". This statement shall be in red 
lettering, and shall be placed after the certification 
statement required by paragraph (e) of this 
section. 

8. Section S7.3 is revised to read as follows: 
S7.3 Standard seat assemblies. The standard 

seat assemblies used in testing under this stan- 
dard are: 

(a) For testing for motor vehicle use, a simu- 
lated vehicle use, a simulated vehicle bench seat, 
with three seating positions, which is described in 
Drawing Package SAS-100-1000 (consisting of 
drawings and a bill of materials); and seat. 

9. A new section SB is added to the standard to 
read as follows: 

S8. Requirements, test conditions, and pro- 
cedures for child restraint systems manufactured 
for use in an aircraft. Each child restraint system 
manufactured for use in both motor vehicles and 
aircraft must comply with all of the applicable test 
requirements specified in section S5 and, when 
tested in accordance with the conditions and pro- 
cedures of S8.2, the additional requirements 
specified in section S8.1. 



58.1 Child containment for conditions of in- 
flight turbulence must be determined by inversion 
tests. The combination of a representative aircraft 
passenger seat, child restraint system, and ap- 
propriate test dummy must be rotated from the 
normal unright position to an inverted position. 
The combination must remain inverted for at least 
3 seconds with neither failure nor deformation 
that could seriously injure or prevent subsequent 
extrication of a child occupant. Child containment 
must be demonstrated for rotation in the forward 
direction and a sideward direction. 

58.2 Each configuration and mode of installa- 
tion must be tested for protection of a child of a 
weight and stature for which the child restraint 
system is designed. The child occupant must be 
simulated with an appropriate test dummy as 
specified in paragraph S7. Placement of each 
restraint system in a representative aircraft 
passenger seat and placement of the test dummy 
must be in accordance with the manufacturer's in- 
structions. Each child restraint system must be at- 
tached to the seat by means of an aircraft safety 
belt without supplementary anchorage belts or 
tether straps; FAA Technical Standard Order ap- 
proved safety belt extensions may be used. The 
representative aircraft passenger seat used in 
each test must have a seat back that is completely 
free to fold over. 

Issued on August 24, 1984 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

49 FR 34357 
August 30, 1984 



PART571;S213-PRE34 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems for Use in 
Motor Vehicles and Aircraft 

[Docket No. 74-09; Notice 16] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUr^MARY: This rule amends the inversion test 
added to Standard No. 213, Child Restraint 
Systems, to allow those manufacturers which 
choose to do so to certify their restraints for use in 
both motor vehicles and aircraft. These amend- 
ments specify more objective criteria for the 
testing procedures and determining compliance 
with the inversion tests. This rule adopts what 
was proposed, except that the rate of acceleration 
and deceleration at the start and finish of the test 
is now specified. The rule also specifically allows 
manufacturers the option of using any of the speci- 
fied aircraft seats and safety belts. In addition, 
several typographical errors have been corrected. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 17, 1985. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: During the 
latter half of 1982, the Department of Transporta- 
tion had two standards for child restraints. Child re- 
straints for use in motor vehicles had to be certified 
as complying with the requirements of this agency's 
Standard No. 213 (49 CFR §571.213). That standard 
specifies performance and labeling requirements 
applicable to child restraints. Child restraints for 
use in aircraft had to be certified as complying with 
the requirements of the Federal Aviation Adminis- 
tration's (FAA) Technical Standard Order ClOO. 
That standard required child restraints to satisfy 
differing performance and labeling requirements if 
they were to be used in aircraft. 

The result of these differing requirements was 
that only a few of the child restraints certified for 
use in motor vehicles were also certified for use in 
aircraft. In early 1983, the National Transporta- 



tion Safety Board considered the safety problems 
posed for young children traveling in motor vehi- 
cles and aircraft and urged that a variety of ac- 
tions be taken to promote increased use of child 
restraints. One of those recommendations was 
that the Department of Transportation simplify 
its two different standards setting forth re- 
quirements for child restraints, by combining the 
standards into a single standard. 

After considering the benefits which would 
result from the increased use of child restraints, 
the FAA and NHTSA jointly concluded that the 
process of certifying child restraints for use in 
both motor vehicles and aircraft could and should 
be simplified and expedited. By combining the 
separate NHTSA and FAA standards into a 
single standard under the jurisdiction of a single 
agency, child restraint manufacturers could avoid 
the difficulties of dealing with different stan- 
dards, methods of certification, and test pro- 
cedures promulgated by the two different agen- 
cies. Accordingly, a notice of proposed rulemak- 
ing (NPRM) was published at 48 FR 36849, 
August 15, 1983. 

This notice proposed that NHTSA would be the 
sole agency responsible for administering the new 
Standard No. 213, which would be applicable to 
both child restraints designed for use in motor 
vehicles and child restraints designed for use in 
aircraft. In essence, the notice proposed that the 
requirements in both agencies' standards be 
adopted in toto and simply combined in an ex- 
panded version of Standard No. 213. This would 
eliminate the problems inherent in dealing with 
the differing certification and testing procedures 
of the two agencies and consolidate all the require- 
ments into one standard. 



PART 571; S213-PRE 35 



After publication of the NPRM. NHTSA and 
FAA undertook a joint testing program of all 42 
models of child restraints being manufactured at 
that time and certified as complying with the re- 
quirements of Standard No. 213. The purpose of 
the joint testing program was to determine 
whether these child restraints could also be cer- 
tified as complying with the FAA standard for 
child restraints for use in aircraft. The joint 
testing program showed that some of the FAA re- 
quirements proposed to be added to Standard No. 
213 were simply less severe tests of performance 
capabilities which had already been measured in 
testing to satisfy the NHTSA requirements. 
Hence, those requirements were deemed redun- 
dant and not necessary to ensure adequate protec- 
tion of restraint occupants in aircraft. 

NHTSA published a final rule amending Stan- 
dard No. 213 at 49 FR 34357, August 30, 1984. That 
rule added one additional test to Standard No. 213 
which had to be satisfied by those child-restraint 
manufacturers which chose to certify their prod- 
ucts for use in both motor vehicles and aircraft. 
The additional test was an inversion test, whose 
purpose is to ensure that child restraints certified 
for use in aircraft adequately protect occupants 
against the dangers posed by sudden air turbu- 
lence. The procedures to be followed were adopted 
exactly as proposed in the NPRM, which was in 
turn drawn verbatim from the FAA standard. 

A number of the comments received in response 
to the NPRM agreed with the proposal to include 
an inversion test in Standard No. 213, but ques- 
tioned the "vagueness and subjectivity" associated 
with the inversion test as proposed. After review- 
ing both the proposed criteria and the comments 
received on that proposal, NHTSA concluded that 
the test procedure should be clarified. However, 
the rulemaking procedures of the Administrative 
Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) precluded the 
agency from adopting the modifications to the test 
procedure in the final rule. This was because 
5 U.S.C. 553 requires that interested persons 
receive notice of proposed rulemaking, and that 
such notice shall include either the terms or 
substance of the proposed rule or a description of 
the subjects and issues involved. The NPRM did 
not give the public notice that NHTSA was even 
considering different criteria from those which 
were proposed, so the final rule could not adopt 
such criteria. 

To correct this perceived shortcoming of the 



final rule, NHTSA published another NPRM on 
the same day as the final rule, at 49 FR 34374, 
August 30, 1984. That notice proposed to establish 
the procedures and criteria used by NHTSA and 
the FAA in the joint testing program as the pro- 
cedures and criteria to be followed in the inversion 
test just added to Standard No. 213. Only one com- 
menter responded to this NPRM. 

This notice proposed that to prepare for the in- 
version test, the subject child restraint should be 
attached to a representative aircraft passenger 
seat using only an FAA-approved aircraft safety 
belt and FAA-approved aircraft safety-belt ex- 
tensions, if needed. A representative aircraft 
passenger seat was defined as either an FAA- 
approved production aircraft passenger seat or a 
simulated aircraft passenger seat conforming to 
Figure 6. 

The commenter stated that this procedure failed 
to specify objective criteria, as required by section 
102(2) of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1391(2)), because it was not 
clear that every FAA-approved production pas- 
senger seat is the equivalent of the simulated 
passenger seat shown in Figure 6. In the same 
vein, the commenter argued that it was not clear 
that all FAA-approved safety belts and safety belt 
extensions were equivalent for the purposes of the 
inversion test. If they are not equivalent, the com- 
menter argued, the outcome of the inversion test 
would depend on the particular seat and/or safety 
belt chosen for the tests. When the outcome of the 
test is influenced by something other than the 
properties of what is being tested, the test is not 
objective. To remedy this, the commenter urged 
that the inversion test be amended to either 
specify the exact seat and safety-belt combinations 
which would be used for testing or specify that the 
seat and safety belts may be chosen at the manu- 
facturer's option from among any of the specified 
seats and safety belts. 

The inversion test in Standard No. 213 is a 
qualitative test, the results of which are mainly 
dependent upon the geometry of the aircraft seat 
and safety-belt combination. The test results will 
not be significantly affected by the seat's struc- 
tural and padding characteristics or by the seat- 
belt properties. Nevertheless, the commenter is 
correct in asserting that the properties of the par- 
ticular aircraft seat and safety belt used in a test 
might make the difference between the restraint 
passing and failing the test in a very marginal 



PART 571; S213-PRE 36 



case. The agency wishes to emphasize that this is a 
possibility, but it has not been demonstrated. In 
the joint testing program in which all currently 
produced models of child restraints were tested, 
all restraints passed the inversion test, using the 
criteria adopted in this rule. 

To address this possibility, the rule adopts the 
commenter's suggestion that the proposed 
language be amended to specify that childs 
restraint manufacturers may at their option select 
any of the specified passenger seats and aircraft 
safety belts for use in the inversion test. A com- 
plete listing of all FAA-approved aircraft 
passenger seats and safety belts can be found in 
the FAA's Advisory Circular AC 20-36, which is 
updated annually. By adopting this approach, 
NHTSA is assuming that the simulated passenger 
seat shown in Figure 6 and each of the FAA- 
approved passenger seats are equivalent for the 
purposes of the inversion test, and that the slight 
differences between those seats will not make a 
difference in whether a restraint passes or fails 
the inversion test. A similar assumption is made 
with respect to each of the FAA-approved safety 
belts. The agency has adopted a similar approach 
in some other standards. See, e.g., S3 of Standard 
No. 214, Side door strength (49 CFR §571.214). 
Should the agency assumption of equivalence be 
shown to be incorrect, NHTSA would amend the 
standard to specify those seats and safety belts 
which must be used for the inversion test. 
However, there is no reason to be that restrictive 
at this time. 

Once the child restraint and test dummy have 
been secured in place in the representative air- 
craft passenger seat, the notice proposed that the 
seat be rotated around a horizontal axis at a rate of 
35 to 45 degrees per second to an angle of 180 
degrees, and the rotation would be stopped when 
it reached an angle of 180 degrees. The commenter 
stated that this language was indefinite because it 
did not specify the starting acceleration and stop- 
ping deceleration for the rotation. The commenter 
stated that the test would be more severe if the 
rotation were begun with a sudden jerk and halted 
by banging the combination against a stop posi- 
tioned at 180 degrees than if it were started and 
stopped more gradually. However, the proposed 
language does not indicate which of these pro- 
cedures is to be used for the testing. 

NHTSA agrees" with the commenter on this 
point, and the language of this final rule specifies 



that the inversion test should be conducted to 
allow not less than 1/2 second and not more than 
1 second for the seat to achieve the required rate 
of rotation and to be stopped from that rate of 
rotation. These rates of acceleration and decelera- 
tion were the ones used in the NHTSA-FAA joint 
testing program. 

The commenter also stated that there were 
some minor typographical errors in section S8.2.3, 
S8.2.4, and S8.2.5, and that the explanatory 
language beneath Figure 6 needed to be slightly 
clarified. NHTSA has made each of these re- 
quested changes in this final rule. 

As discussed above, NHTSA has decided to 
clarify the test procedures and criteria for deter- 
mining compliance with the inversion test speci- 
fied in Standard No. 213. These requirements of 
this inversion test are optional, and need only be 
followed by those manufacturers which choose to 
certify their child restraints for use in aircraft as 
well as in motor vehicles. Manufacturers which 
choose to certify their products only for use in 
motor vehicles will not be adversely affected by an 
early effective date for these amendments. The 
amendments made by this notice do not change the 
fundamental performance requirement that those 
manufacturers which choose to also certify their 
products for use in aircraft will have to meet; the 
amendment benefits the manufacturers by clarify- 
ing the test procedure. Accordingly, I find good 
cause for making the amendments in this rule ef- 
fective upon publication in the Federal Register. 

The NHTSA has analyzed this rule and deter- 
mined that it is neither "major" within the mean- 
ing of Executive Order 12291 nor "significant" 
within the meaning of the Department of Trans- 
portation regulatory policies and procedures. No 
additional requirements are imposed for restraints 
to be certified for use in aircraft, and no additional 
requirements are imposed for those restraints to 
be certified only for use in motor vehicles. These 
amendments simply clarify the testing procedures 
to be followed for child restraint systems which 
the manufacturer chooses to certify for use in air- 
craft. Since the impacts of this rule are minimal, 
full regulatory evaluation has not been prepared. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 
571.213 is amended to read as follows: 

1. Paragraph S4 is amended by revising the 
definition of "representative aircraft passenger 
seat" to read as follows: 

"Representative aircraft passenger seat" means 



PART571;S213-PRE37 



either a Federal Aviation Administration-ap- 
proved production aircraft passenger seat or a 
simulated aircraft passenger seat conforming to 
Figure 6. 

2. Paragraph S8 is revised to read as follows: 
S8. Requirements, test conditions, and pro- 
cedures for child-restraint systems manufactured 
for use in aircraft. 

Each child-restraint system manufactured for 
use in both motor vehicles and aircraft must com- 
ply with all of the applicable requirements 
specified in section S5 and with the additional re- 
quirements specified in S8.1 and S8.2. 

58.1. Installation instructions. Each child- 
restraint system manufactured for use in aircraft 
shall be accompanied by printed instructions in the 
English language that provide a step-by-step pro- 
cedure, including diagrams, for installing the 
system in aircraft passenger seats, securing the 
system to the seat, positioning a child in the 
system when it is installed in aircraft, and ad- 
justing the system to fit the child. In the case of 
each child restraint which is not intended for use 
in aircraft at certain adjustment positions, the 
following statement, with the manufacturer's 
restrictions inserted, shall be included in the 
instructions. 

DO NOT USE THE ADJUSTMENT 

POSITION(S) OF THIS CHILD RESTRAINT 
IN AIRCRAFT. 

58.2. Inversion test. When tested in accordance 
with S8.2.1 through S8.2.5 and adjusted in any 
position which the manufacturer has not, in accor- 
dance with S8.1, specifically warned against using 
in aircraft, each child-restraint system manufac- 
tured for use in aircraft shall meet the require- 
ments of S8.2.1 through S8.2.6. The manufacturer 
may, at its option, use any seat which is a represen- 
tative aircraft passenger seat within the meaning 
of S4. 

58.2.1. A representative aircraft passenger seat 
shall be positioned and adjusted so that its horizon- 
tal and vertical orientation and its seat-back angle 
are the same as shown in Figure 6. 

58.2.2. The child-restraint system shall be at- 
tached to the representative aircraft passenger 
seat using, at the manufacturer's option, any 
Federal Aviation Administration-approved air- 
craft safety belt, according to the restraint 
manufacturer's instructions for attaching the 
restraint to an aircraft seat. No supplementary an- 
chorage belts or tether straps may be attached; 



however, Federal Aviation Administration-ap- 
proved safety-belt extensions may be used. 

58.2.3. In accordance with S6.1.2.3.1 through 
S6.1.2.3.3, place in the child restraint any dummy 
specified in S7 for testing systems for use by 
children of the heights and weights for which the 
system is recommended in accordance with S5.5 
and S8.1. 

58.2.4. If provided, shoulder and pelvic belts 
that directly restrain the dummy shall be adjusted 
in accordance with S6.1.2.4. 

58.2.5. The combination of representative air- 
craft passenger seat, child restraint, and test 
dummy shall be rotated forward around a horizon- 
tal axis which is contained in the median trans- 
verse vertical plane of the seating-surface portion 
of the aircraft seat and is located 1 inch below the 
bottom of the seat frame, at a speed of 35 to 
45 degrees per second, to an angle of 180 degrees. 
The rotation shall be stopped when it reaches that 
angle and the seat shall be held in this position for 
3 seconds. The child restraint shall not fall out of 
the aircraft safety belt nor shall the test dummy 
fall out of the child restraint at any time during the 
rotation or the 3-second period. The specified rate 
of rotation shall be attained in not less than 
V2 second and not more than 1 second, and the 
rotating combination shall be brought to a stop in 
not less than V2 second and not more than 1 second. 

58.2.6. Repeat the procedures set forth in S8.2.1 
through S8.2.4. The combination of the represen- 
tative aircraft passenger seat, child restraint, and 
test dummy shall be rotated sideways around a 
horizontal axis which is contained in the median 
longitudinal vertical plane of the seating-surface 
portion of the aircraft seat and is located 1 inch 
below the bottom of the seat frame, at a speed of 
35 to 45 degrees per second, to an angle of 
180 degrees. The rotation shall be stopped when it 
reaches that angle and the seat shall be held in this 
position for 3 seconds. The child restraint shall not 
fall out of the aircraft safety belt, nor shall the test 
dummy fall out of the child restraint at any time 
during the rotation or the 3 second period. The 
specified rate of rotation shall be attained in not 
less than Vz second and not more than 1 second, 
and the rotating combination shall be brought to a 
stop in not less than V2 second and not more than 
1 second. 

3. A new Figure 6 would be added at the end of 
§ 571.213, appearing as follows: 



PART 571; S213 -PRE 38 



> 



\ 




"A" represents a 2- to 3-inch thick polyurethane foam pad, 1.5 to 2.0 pounds per cubic foot density, over 
0.020-inch-thick aluminum pan, and covered by 12- to 14-ounce marine canvas. The sheet-aluminum pan is 
20 inches wide and supported on each side by a rigid structure. The seat back is a rectangular frame 
covered with the aluminum sheet and weighing between 14 and 15 pounds, with a center of mass 13 to 
16 inches above the seat pivot axis. The mass moment of inertia of the seat back about the seat pivot axis 
is between 195 and 220 ounce-inch-second^. The seat back is free to fold forward about the pivot, but a stop 
prevents rearward motion. The passenter safety belt anchor points are spaced 21 to 22 inches apart and 
are located in Ime with the seat pivot axis. 



FIGURE 6: SIMULATED AIRCRAFT PASSENGER SEAT 



Issued on April 10, 1985. 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

50 FR 15154 
April 17, 1985 



i 



PART 571; S213-PRE 39-40 



I 



i 



i 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems 
[Docket No. 7409; Notice 18] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule amends Standard No. 213, 
Child Restraint Systems, with respect to the re- 
quirements applicable to buckles used in child 
restraints. The requirement regarding the force 
necessary to operate the buckle release mechanism 
in the pre-impact test is changed from the previous 
minimum level of 12 pounds to a range between 9 
and 14 pounds. The maximum release force for the 
buckle release in the post-impact test is reduced 
from the previous level of 20 pounds to 16 pounds. 
Additionally, this rule adds buckle size and buckle 
latching requirements to the standard. The effect 
of this rule is to ensure that child restraint buckles 
are easier for adults to operate, while still ensur- 
ing that small children will not be able to open the 
buckles by themselves. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: February 18, 1986. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: As an initial 
step toward ensuring that child restraint systems 
would offer adequate protection for their oc- 
cupants, NHTSA issued Standard No. 213 in 1970. 
That version of the Standard required, among 
other things, that the buckle release mechanism 
operate when a force of not more than 20 pounds 
was applied. 

NHTSA issued a new Standard No. 213, Child 
Restraint Systems (49 CFR §571.213) at 44 FR 
72131, December 13, 1979. This new Standard 
substantially upgraded the performance re- 
quirements for child restraint systems. It also 
specified that the buckles must not release when a 
force of less than 12 pounds was applied to the 
buckle before conducting the dynamic systems test 



required by section S6.1 of Standard No. 213 and 
must release when a force of not more than 20 
pounds was applied after conducting that dynamic 
systems test. The test for measuring the amount of 
force needed to release the buckle was to be con- 
ducted in accordance with the procedures set forth 
in section S6.2 of the standard. The purpose of the 
buckle force requirements is to prevent young 
children from unbuckling the restraint belt(s), 
while allowing adults to do so easily. 

After the adoption of the standard, the agency 
received information indicating that the minimum 
force level needed to release the buckles was too 
high to permit many adults to easily release the 
buckles. Some of the buckles tested in the field re- 
quired more than 20 pounds of pressure to release, 
according to a report done for the agency by K. 
Weber and N. P. Allen (Docket No. 74-09-GR-120). 
This same report concluded that even a force of 20 
pounds is difficult for most women to generate 
with one hand. The agency has also been provided 
with consumer letters received by one child 
restraint manufacturer commenting on the dif- 
ficulty of operating the child restraint harness 
buckles. The agency itself has received numerous 
telephone calls from consumers complaining about 
the size of the release buttons on child restraint 
belts and the high force levels required to operate 
them. 

The agency's safety concerns over child restraint 
buckle force release and size stem from the need 
for convenient buckling and unbuckling of a child 
and, in emergencies, to quickly remove the child 
from the restraint. This latter situation can occur 
in instances of post-crash fires, immersions, etc. A 
restraint that is difficult to disengage, due to the 
need for excessive buckle pressure or difficulty in 



PART 571; S213-PRE 41 



operating the release mechanism because of a very 
small release button, can unnecessarily endanger 
the child in the restraint and the adult attempting 
to release the child. 

This amendment is also intended to reduce the 
everyday misuse rate of child restraint harness 
and shields. Several studies conducted by Goodell- 
Grives, Inc., under contract to NHTSA indicate 
that the harness and shield misuse rate for infant 
and toddler restraints is between 25 and 40 per- 
cent. According to this study and others, misused 
child restraints may not only fail to protect the 
child in a crash situation, but may increase injury 
severity. The December 1984 study asked parents 
why they were apparently misusing the harness 
and shields. The misuse did not result from the 
lack of knowledge about the proper use of the 
harness and shields, because 95 percent of those 
parents knew the child restraint was being used 
incorrectly. Although the buckles were not cited 
directly, the inconvenience of the harness and 
shield operation was the most frequent reason 
given for misuse. This amendment will improve 
the operational convenience of the harness and 
shield buckles and thus should increase the correct 
usage rate of child restraint systems. 

Accordingly, NHTSA published a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking (NPRM) at 48 FR 20259, May 5, 
1983, which proposed several changes to the buckle 
release force measurement test procedures. Those 
changes were intended to facilitate the use of 
buckles which would require approximately 10 1/2 
pounds of force to release. The buckle force release 
test procedure specified that the buckle was to be 
tested both before and after the impact testing of 
the child restraint. In both the pre- and post- 
impact tests, tension was applied to the buckle 
prior to measuring the buckle release force. The 
purpose of applying tension was to simulate the 
force that would be applied to the buckle by a child 
hanging upside down in the child restraint. 

The first proposed change was to eliminate the 
tension applied to the buckle in the pre-impact 
test. While it was considered appropriate for the 
post-impact test to simulate tension which would 
be present on the buckle in the event of a rollover 
crash, it was tentatively concluded that there were 
no forces whose presence ought to be simulated in 
the pre-impact test. Therefore, the notice proposed 
to measure the buckle release force in the pre- 
impact test with no load applied to the belt buckle, 
except the load exerted by properly adjusting the 
belt system around a child. 



The second proposed change was to reduce the 
minimum buckle force permitted in the pre-impact 
test by three pounds, from 12 pounds to 9 pounds. 
According to the evidence available to the agency, 
a minimum buckle force level of 9 pounds is suffi- 
cient to prevent children up to the age of approx- 
imately 4 from opening the buckle by themselves. 
Further, the notice proposed to set a force of 12 
pounds as the maximum force permitted in the 
pre-impact test. The NPRM specifically sought 
comments on whether this 3-pound range was suf- 
ficient to account for the amount of buckle force 
variation which inevitably arises from mass pro- 
duction manufacturing techniques. 

The third change was proposed for the post- 
impact testing of the buckles. The tension 
previously specified in the standard would still be 
applied to the buckles before the release force was 
measured. However, the maximum force needed to 
release the buckles was proposed to be reduced 
from 20 pounds to 16 pounds. A higher force level 
is specified in the post-impact test as compared to 
the pre-impact test to allow for damage which 
could occur to the buckles during an actual crash 
and to allow for the additional belt loading which 
is possible from a child suspended upside down in 
the restraint system. The proposed lowering of the 
maximum force level was intended to permit a 
large portion of adults to more easily and quickly 
release the buckle in normal use (thus encouraging 
routine correct use of the restraints which would 
provide enhanced child safety) and in emergency 
post-crash situations. 

The NPRM also proposed a change to Standard 
No. 213 in response to complaints about instances 
where a child restraint buckle was seemingly 
securely fastened by a parent, but subsequently 
popped open. This problem is commonly referred to 
as false latching. To address this problem, the 
NPRM proposed to require that child restraint 
buckles meet the latching requirements in section 
S4.3(g) of Standard No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies. 
These requirements ensure that the design and 
construction of the buckle release mechanism are 
sufficiently durable to permit repeated latching 
and unlatching of the buckle and that the buckle 
releases when it is falsely latched and a minimum 
force (in this case, 5 pounds) is applied to it. 

The final change proposed in the NPRM related 
to the size of the buckle release area. The agency 
believed that some of the problems experienced by 
parents in fastening and unfastening the child 
restraint buckles might be attributable to the size 



PART 571; S213-PRE 42 



of the buckle release mechanism. For instance, the 
smaller the area of a push button release 
mechanism, the more difficult it would be to use 
more than one finger, and hence apply a greater 
force, to open the buckle. The release mechanisms 
on some buckles were too small to allow sufficient 
engagement area for easy release of the buckle, 
particularly for persons with large hands. Most 
child restraint buckles use push buttons to release 
the buckle, so the NPRM proposed that push but- 
tons have a minimum area of 0.6 square inch. The 
minimum surface area requirements applicable to 
motor vehicle seat belts were specified for other 
types of release mechanisms used on child 
restraint buckles. 

The NPRM also requested comments on regula- 
tory and non-regulatory ways in which the issues 
of belt length and shell width could be addressed. 
This request was based on the Weber and Allen 
report referenced above which raised questions 
about the length of the harness webbing used in 
child restraints and the seating width of the shells. 
The researchers noted that use of winter clothing 
significantly increases the amount of harness web- 
bing needed to accommodate a fully clothed child. 
They reported that a snowsuit can add six inches 
to the length necessary for a harness lap belt to ac- 
commodate a child. Further, the researchers said 
that nearly all child restraints are too narrow for 
the size children they claim to accommodate. 

The agency received 16 comments on the NPRM, 
and the commenters included private citizens, 
safety advocacy groups, child restraint manufac- 
turers, and the National Transportation Safety 
Board. All these comments were considered in 
developing this final rule, and the most relevant 
ones are specifically addressed in the following 
discussion. 

Pre-Impact Test Buckle Release Force Limit. In 
the NPRM, the agency specifically sought com- 
ments on the feasibility of manufacturing buckles 
within the 3-pound range. Many of the com- 
menters objected to the proposed 9- to 12-pound 
release force limits, primarily because the 3-pound 
range was said to be too narrow based on current 
manufacturing techniques, to ensure that all 
buckles would comply with the proposed require- 
ment. Some of these commenters asserted that the 
proposed 3-pound range would cause the buckle 
manufacturers to increase buckle prices in order to 
recoup the costs of the changes in manufacturing 
techniques and quality control which would have 
to be implemented to satisfy the proposed require- 



ment. One child restraint manufacturer offered a 
statistical analysis of buckle release force tests in 
an effort to demonstrate the difficulty of maintain- 
ing a 3-pound range with current buckle manu- 
facturing techniques. The manufacturer indicated 
that buckle release forces can vary up to 3- times 
the standard deviation for a given sample. The 
standard deviation for current production buckles 
is sufficiently large that, given a mean of 10.5 
pounds and a range of 3 pounds, some buckles 
would have release forces outside the range. A dif- 
ferent manufacturer submitted data from tests of 
current buckle designs showing that the release 
force can vary by as much as 6 poimds for current 
buckles. Finally, several commenters objected to 
the proposed 9-pound minimum release force on 
the grounds that buckles manufactured in com- 
pliance with the Canadian child restraint stan- 
daird, which specifies an 8-pound minimum release 
and 16-pound maximum release force, would not 
satisfy the proposed U.S. standard. These com- 
menters further stated that NHTSA should use 
this opportunity to harmonize this requirement 
with the Canadian standard. 

In response to these comments, NHTSA has re- 
considered its proposed 9- to 12-poimd range for the 
buckle release force permitted in the pre-impact 
testing. The agency has concluded that a 3-pound 
range in release force would not be feasible with 
current manufacturing techniques, and the bene- 
fits of narrowing the feasible range to 3 pounds do 
not warrant requiring a change in current manu- 
facturing techniques. 

The only research study of which the agency is 
aware, examining the most appropriate release 
force range for child restraint buckles, is entitled 
"Child Restraint Systems," published in 1976 by 
Peter Arnberg of the National Swedish Road and 
Traffic Institute. This study, which is available in 
the General Reference section of Docket No. 74-09, 
presented the results of testing 80 children aged 2 
1/2 to 4 1/2 years and 200 women. This study con- 
cluded that child restraint buckles should have a 
release force of 40 to 60 Newtons (approximately 9 
to 13 1/2 pounds). 

After analyzing the comments, NHTSA has 
determined that a 5-pound range in buckle release 
force is needed to allow for current buckle 
manufacturing techniques. Based on this deter- 
mination and the recommendations of the Arnberg 
study, this rule requires child restraint buckles to 
have a release force of between 9 and 14 pounds 
before the buckles are subjected to dynamic testing. 



PART 571; S213-PRE 43 



The agency notes that this rule is not precisely 
harmonized with the Canadian standard for child 
restraint buckle release forces, which specifies a 
minimum release force of 8 pounds before dynamic 
testing and a msiximum release force of 16 pounds 
after dynamic testing. NHTSA has adopted a 9 
pound minimum release force because of its con- 
cern that 3 1/2- to-4-year-old children could open 
their child restraint buckles if the release force 
were 8 pounds, as shown in the Arnberg study. 
Further, the 14-pound maximum release force be- 
fore dynamic testing was added in this rule be- 
cause buckles with a release force of more than 14 
pounds are difficult for many women to open in 
everyday use, as demonstrated in the Arnberg 
study. The result of these differing requirements 
in the United States and Canada is that buckles 
which comply with the Canadian buckles force re- 
quirements will not automatically comply with 
Standard No. 213. However, buckles which comply 
with StEindard No. 213 will also comply with the 
buckle force requirements of the Canadian 
standard. 

Pre-Impact Buckle Test Procedure. The NPRM 
proposed a new procedure for this test. The same 
procedures have been used for measuring the 
buckle release force in both the pre-impact and the 
post-impact testing. Briefly stated, the child 
restraint is installed on a standard seat assembly, 
the dummy is positioned in the child restraint, a 
sling is attached to each wrist and ankle of the 
dummy, and the sling is pulled by a designated 
force. As noted above, the presence of the dummy 
and the force applied to the sling simulate a 
rollover crash situation. 

The NPRM proposed, and this final rule adopts, 
a new test procedure for the pre-impact testing, 
because there is no need to simulate a rollover 
crash situation before impact. The NPRM pro- 
posed placing the buckle on a hard, flat surface and 
loading each end of the buckle with a force of 2 
pounds before measuring the force required to re- 
lease the buckle. None of the commenters objected 
to this basic change in the test procedure, and it is 
adopted for the reasons stated in the NPRM. 

Several commenters did object to the release 
force application device, which was proposed as a 
rigid, right-circular cone with an enclosed angle of 
90 degrees or less. This device would be used to 
transfer the release force to the push button 
release. Some commenters argued that this device 
would not adequately represent real-world push 
button actuation. Specifically, they were con- 



cerned that the pointed device applies the release 
force over an area considerably smaller than that 
of a finger or thumb. Other commenters argued in 
favor of a different release force application device, 
contending that this device would permanently 
deface some of the tested buckles. 

NHTSA has decided to adopted the proposed con- 
ical test device. Its small contact area allows ac- 
curate positioning on the release button, which 
will yield consistently repeatable test results. The 
buckle release force test procedures proposed in 
the NPRM, as modified for this final rule, were 
conducted by the Calspan Corporation in July 
1984 during the annual FMVSS No. 213 com- 
pliance test procedures. On the basis of these tests, 
the agency concluded that the amended test pro- 
cedures simulate real-world actuation of push but- 
ton release mechanisms because the release force 
is applied in a manner similar to hand operation 
and tests with several alternative devices in- 
dicated that conical devices produce release force 
values consistent with those generated by different 
probes. Manufacturers choosing to test a large 
number of buckles to be used on their child 
restraints can place a protective surface between 
the button and the test device to prevent defacing 
of the buckles. Those manufacturers who want to 
use an alternative test device are free to do so, pro- 
vided that they can correlate the results obtained 
with that alternative device with results obtained 
with the specified test device, which will be used 
by the agency in compliance tests. 

The NPRM proposed that the force applied by 
the test device be "at the center line of the push 
button 0.125 inches fi-om a movable edge and in 
the direction that produces maximum releasing ef- 
fect." Many commenters argued that this pro- 
cedure needed to be refined to take account of the 
different release mechanisms. One commenter 
stated that there are two different types of push 
button release mechanisms, hinged and floating. 
A hinged button has one fixed edge and release 
forces applied near the fixed edge may not ac- 
tivate the release mechanism. Instead, the hinged 
button is designed to release when force is applied 
near the center of the button or toward the edge 
opposite the fixed edge. On the other hand, the 
floating button has no fixed edges and is designed 
to release when force is applied near the center of 
the button. This commenter noted that, while the 
force application proposed in the NPRM may be 
suitable for hinged buttons, it would be inap- 
propriate for floating buttons. 



PART 571; S213-PRE 44 



The agency agrees with the commenters that 
some further refinements should be made to the 
test procedures to account for the different t)T)es of 
push buttons. Accordingly, this rule specifies that, 
for hinged buttons, the force shall be applied accor- 
ding to the procedures proposed in the NPRM. For 
floating buttons, the force shall be applied at the 
geometric center of the button. These differing 
force application points will take into account the 
differing designs of push buttons, without favoring 
one or the other design. 

Several commenters stated that the NPRM 
failed to specify any test procedures for buckles 
designed for the insertion of two or more buckle 
latch plates, even though a number of buckles on 
ciurent models of child restraints are designed to 
secure more than one belt. Further, these com- 
menters noted that, while the NPRM did specify a 
2 -pound pre-load force should be applied to buckles 
before conducting the pre-impact buckle release 
test, it failed to specify the direction in which the 
force should be applied. To remedy these perceived 
shortcomings, some of the commenters recom- 
mended that the final rule specify that the 2-pound 
pre-load force be applied along the direction of the 
latch plate insertion for single latch plate buckles 
and that the 2-pound force be divided by the 
number of latch plates and the resultant force ap- 
plied to each latch plate in the direction of latch 
plate insertion for multiple latch plate buckles. 
This final rule adopts this recommendation. The 
NPRM's intent was that the force be applied along 
the direction of latch plate insertion, and it is ap- 
propriate to make this intent explicit in this final 
rule. Further, the one pound pre-load force for 
multiple latch plate buckles is sufficient force to 
simulate the tension which would be present in 
properly adjusted belts, yet small enough so as not 
to simulate other forces which would not be pre- 
sent in normal everyday use. 

Along these lines, one commenter suggested that 
the pre-load force be increased from two to five 
pounds. This commenter stated that the proposed 
pre-load force of 2-pounds might not be sufficient to 
release the buckles, while the 5-pound load would 
assure that the buckles always release. Further, 
the commenter noted that Standard No. 209 allows 
a false latching load of 5-pounds maximum, and 
that this change would make the two Standards 
consistent. 

NHTSA is not persuaded by these comments, 
and has not incorporated the suggested change in 
this final rule. For the pre-impact buckle release 



force test procedure, the 2-pound pre-load is design- 
ed to simulate the separation tension in the 
harness restraint system during normal use and 
approximate the buckle loading on a restraint 
system adjusted for the compliance impact test. 

Section S5.2(g) of Standard No. 209, on the other 
hand, is not intended to approximate forces 
present during normal buckle operation. That 
section requires that the buckle latching 
mechanism be tested for durability and then the 
latch plate or hasp inserted in any position of "par- 
tial" engagement (false latching). When the buckle 
and latch plate are in this position of "induced" 
partial engagement, a force of 5 or less shall 
separate the latch plate from the buckle. The 
separation of the latch plate is affected without 
operating the release mechanism. Since this pro- 
cedure is not intended to simulate normal buckle 
operation but to test the susceptibility of the 
buckle to false latching, it would not be ap- 
propriate to incorporate its loading into Standard 
No. 213. 

Post-Impact Buckle Test Procedure. As noted 
above, the NPRM proposed to reduce the max- 
imum force needed to release the buckle after it 
had been subjected to the impact test from the 
20-pound level currently specified to 16 pounds. A 
higher release force is specified for the post-impact 
test to account for damage which might occur to 
the buckle during the impact test and to counter 
the forces which could be exerted on the buckle by 
a child hanging upside down in rollover crash con- 
ditions. The reason for proposing the lower force 
was that it was sufficient to account for damage 
which might occur to the buckle, and such force 
can be generated by almost all women using only 
one hand, according to the Arnberg study. The cur- 
rent 20-pound force requirement allows buckles 
which require two-hand operation by many adults, 
and two-hand operation is often awkward and may 
adversely affect safety in emergency situations. 
The agency notes that the Canadian standard also 
specifies a maximum post impact force of 16 
pounds. No commenters objected to this proposed 
change, and it is adopted herein for the reasons ex- 
plained above. 

The preamble to the NPRM did not discuss any 
other changes to the post-impact testing procedure, 
because the agency did not intend to propose any 
changes other than reducing the maximum release 
force for the buckles. However, section S6.2.2 of 
Standard No. 213 as published in the NPRM in- 
dicated that the self-adjusting sling which is 



PART 571; S213-PRE 45 



attached to the dummy to simulate a rollover 
crash situation should be attached only to the 
dummy's ankles. The Standard currently requires 
the sling to be attached to the dummy's wrists and 
ankles, and this requirement was inadvertently 
omitted from the NPRM language. This final rule 
corrects this omission, so no change is specified for 
the post-impact testing except the reduction in 
buckle release force. 

Buckle Latching. The NPRM proposed adding 
the latching performance requirements of sections 
S4.3(g) and S5.2(g) of Standard No. 209 to Standard 
No. 213. These procedures test the latching perfor- 
mance of seat belt buckles to ensure that the 
buckle materials and structure will operate pro- 
perly after numerous cycles of latchings and un- 
latchings. As explained in the NPRM, this step 
should reduce or eliminate the false latching prob- 
lems experienced by child restraint users. False 
latching occurs when buckles are apparently latch- 
ed, but then subsequently pop open. NHTSA 
believes that most of the false latchings result 
from poorly designed or cycle degraded latching 
mechanisms, and that the Standard No. 209 re- 
quirements will eliminate latching mechanisms 
which are poorly designed or subject to cycle 
degradation. 

Most of the commenters who addressed this pro- 
posal supported its adoption, although several 
commenters stated that additional requirements 
may be needed to ensure that false latching does 
not continue to be a significant problem. The Na- 
tional Transportation Safety Board stated that it 
had evidence that brand-new child restraint 
buckles, not yet subject to material wear, are prone 
to false latching, and that additional requirements 
along the lines of the European requirement that 
latchplates be ejected by a spring located in the 
buckle when the buckle is not properly latched, 
may be necessary to prevent false latching. Other 
suggestions from the commenters included requir- 
ing the use of color-coded push buttons to show 
when the buckle was properly latched and requir- 
ing specific warnings in the manufacturer's in- 
struction manuals urging parents to check for false 
latchings every time they fasten the buckles. 

NHTSA has adopted the requirements proposed 
in the NPRM to reduce the false latching prob- 
lems. The agency believes that the Standard No. 
209 seat belt buckle tests will identify buckles 
which are subject to false latchings because of 
materials wear or poor design, because false lat- 
ching complaints by consumers have been eli- 



minated for motor vehicle seat belts and the agen- 
cy expects that these tests will substantially 
reduce this problem for child restraint buckles as 
well. The agency will continue to monitor prob- 
lems of false latchings, and will consider addi- 
tional requirements to address that problem if 
necessary. 

Buckle Size. The NPRM proposed to specify a 
minimum area for the buckle release mechanism, 
because some of the difficulties reported in opening 
child restraint buckles were believed to arise from 
the small size of the buckle release mechanism. As 
noted earlier, the smaller the area of the push but- 
ton, the more difficulty there is in applying the 
forces which must be exerted to open the buckle. 
Those commenters who addressed this issue sup- 
ported the proposed requirement that push buttons 
used on child restraints have a minimum release 
area of 0.6 square inch, and it is adopted in this 
final rule. 

Belt Length/Shell Width. The NPRM solicited 
comments on steps which could be taken to address 
the issues of belt length and shell width. These 
issues arose after a research report noted that 
children clad in winter clothes need up to six addi- 
tional inches of belt webbing, and that many cur- 
rent child restraints do not have this extra belt 
length. In addition, the report noted that nearly all 
child restraints are too narrow for the size children 
they claim to accommodate. The NPRM noted that 
a long-range solution was for the agency to use ad- 
ditional test dummies to simulate larger children. 
A possible short-term answer was to conduct the 
crash tests with the dummies clad in a tjqjical 
snowsuit. 

Several commenters stated that regulatory ac- 
tion was not needed in this area. Child restraint 
manufacturers generally believe that the industry 
will adjust belt length and shell width in response 
to consumer demand, and believe that any regula- 
tions at this time would only add costs and 
research burden, without substantially benefiting 
child safety. The Physicians for Automotive Safety 
stated that the agency should approach those 
manufacturers with problems in these areas and 
request voluntary remedial action, instead of pur- 
suing rulemaking. That group also stated that it 
knew of only one model of child restraint with 
problems along these lines. The National Trans- 
portation Safety Board stated that the agency 
should develop regulations in these areas. 

Some of the commenters opposed the use of 
snowsuits on the test dummies because those 



PART 571; S213-PRE 46 



snowsuits would absorb some of the crash energy. 
According to these commenters, the agency would, 
in effect, reduce the severity of the crash tests by so 
dressing the test dummies. 

In view of the above comments rulemaking will 
be deferred in this area. The agency will continue 
to monitor the issues of seat shell size and harness 
webbing length associated with infant and toddler 
restraints (40 pounds and below) to determine if 
rulemaking in this area will be necessary in the 
future. 

Editorial Correction. Several commenters no- 
ticed that there was a typographical error in sec- 
tion S5.4.3.5(a) of the NPRM. That section referred 
to testing in accordance with section S6.2.2, while 
the correct reference was to section S6.2.1. This 
error is corrected in this final rule. 

§571.213 [Amendedl 

In consideration of the foregoing. Title 49 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations is amended by revis- 
ing §571.213 to read as follows: 

1. The authority citation for 571 continues to 
read as follows: 

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1403, and 1407; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 

2. Section S5.4.3.5 is revised to read as follows: 

***** 

S5.4.3.5 Buckle Release. Any buckle in a child 
restraint system belt assembly designed to 
restrain a child using the system shall: 

(a) When tested in accordance with S6.2.1 prior 
to the dynamic test of S6.1, not release when a 
force of less than 9 pounds is applied and shall 
release when a force of not more than 14 pounds is 
applied; 

(b) After the dynamic test of S6.1, when tested in 
accordance with S6.2.3, release when a force of not 
more than 16 pounds is applied; 

(c) Meet the requirements of S4.3(dX2) of 
FMVSS No. 209 (§571.209), except that the 
minimum surface area for child restraint buckles 
designed for push button application shall be 0.6 
square inch; 

(d) Meet the requirements of S4.3(g) of FMVSS 
No. 209 (§571.209) when tested in accordance with 
S5.2(g) of FMVSS No. 209; and 

(e) Not release during the testing specified in 

86.1. 

* * * * * 

3. Section S6.2 is revised to read as follows: 

***** 



S6.2 Buckle Release Test Procedure. The belt 
assembly buckles used in any child restraint 
system shall be tested in accordance with S6.2.1 

through S6.2.4 inclusive. 

***** 

4. Section S6.2.1 is revised to read as follows: 

56.2.1. Before conducting the testing specified 
in S6.1, place the locked buckle on a hard, flat, 
horizontal surface. Each belt end of the buckle 
shall be pre-loaded in the following manner. The 
anchor end of the buckle shall be loaded with a 
2-pound force in the direction away from the 
buckle. In the case of buckles designed to secure a 
single latch plate, the belt latch plate end of the 
buckle shall be loaded with a 2-pound force in the 
direction away from the buckle. In the case of 
buckles designed to secure two or more latch 
plates, the belt latch plate ends of the buckle shall 
be loaded equally so that the total load is 2 pounds, 
in the direction away from the buckle. For push- 
button release buckles the release force shall be 
applied by a conical surface (cone angle not ex- 
ceeding 90 degrees). For push-button release 
mechanisms with a fixed edge (referred to in 
Figure 6 as "hinged button"), the release force 
shall be applied at the centerline of the button, 
0.125 inches away from the movable edge directly 
opposite the fixed edge, and in the direction that 
produces maximum releasing efi'ect. For push- 
button release mechanisms with no fixed edge 
(referred to in Figure 6 as "floating button"), the 
release force shall be applied at the center of the 
release mechanism in the direction that produces 
the maximum releasing effect. For all other buckle 
release mechanisms, the force shall be applied on 
the centerline of the buckle lever or finger tab in 
the direction that produces the maximum releas- 
ing effect. Measure the force required to release 
the buckle. Figxire 6 illustrates the loading for the 
different buckles and the point where the release 
force should be applied, and Figure 7 illustrates 
the conical surface used to apply the release force 

to push-button release buckles. 

***** 

5. Section S6.2.2 is revised to read as follows: 

***** 

56.2.2. After completion of the testing specified 
in S6.1, and before the buckle is unlatched, tie a 
self-adjusting sling to each wrist and ankle of the 
test dummy in the manner illustrated in Figure 4. 



PART 571; S213-PRE 47 



6. Section S6.2.4 is revised to read as follows: 8. Two new drawings (Figures 6 and 7) are add- ^ 

* * * * * ed at the end of §571.213, appearing as follows: S 

S6.2.4. While applying the force specified in 
S6.2.3, and using the device shown in Figure 7 for Issued on August 15, 1985. 

push-button release buckles, apply the release 
force in the manner and location specified in S6.2.1 
for that type of buckle. Measure the force required 
to release the buckle. Diane K. Steed 

***** Administrator 

7. Section S6.2.5 is deleted. 

50 F.R. 33722 

August 21, 1985 



i 



I 



PART 571; S213-PRE 48 



) 



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Buckla Pra-load 



Po*jr*dt 



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t 






7a. Slnglt LfXdtx Plata 
Pn^load 



2 Poundf 



2 Poundi 




1 Pound || 



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7b. Double Litch Pitt* 
Pr»4oad 



Release Fores 

Application 

Positjon 




R«le*M Foroa 
Appllortion Podtion- 
Puth Button 
M*chanltm> 



0.125 Inch 




Release Fofce 

Application 

Position 



7c. Hingad Button 



7d. Fioating Button 



\ 



Figur* 7. Pr«-imp«ct Buckle Retaase Fore* Test Set-up 

PART 571; S213-PRE 49 



i 



<90O, 




Figure 8. Release Force Application Device — Push Button Release Buckles 

PART 571; S213-PRE 50 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY 

STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems 
(Docket No. 74-09; Notice 18) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule amends Standard No. 213, 
Child Restraint Systems, by requiring all child 
restraints equipped with tether straps (other than 
child harnesses, booster seats, and restraints 
designed for use by physically handicapped 
children) to pass the 30 miles per hour (mph) test 
with the tether strap unattached. This change is 
being made because survey results consistently 
show that, in the vast majority of instances, child 
restraints with tether straps are used by the public 
without attaching the tether strap to the vehicle. 
This amendment will ensure that children riding in 
child restraints with unattached tethers will be af- 
fored crash protection equivalent to that afforded 
to children riding in child restraints designed 
without a tether. 

This rule also eliminates the requirement that 
those child restraints pass a 20 mph test with the 
tether unattached. Since those restraints will now 
be required to pass the 30 mph test under the same 
test conditions, it is unnecessary for those 
restraints to also be tested at a low speed. 

Finally, this rule clarifies two items of informa- 
tion required to be included in the instructions ac- 
companying child restraints. These clarifications 
do not alter the amount of information that must 
be included in the instructions: they simply explain 
what the agency intended to require. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 12, 1986. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Standard No. 
213, Child Restraint Systems (49 CFR S571.213) 
currently provides two different test configura- 
tions applicable to child restraint systems. First, a 
30 mph frontal crash test is conducted for all child 
restraints. In that test, the restraints are installed 
according to the child restraint manufacturer's in- 



structions. This test is referred to as Test Con- 
figuration I in section S6.1. 2.1.1 of Standard No. 
213. 

Second, a 20 mph test is conducted for two types 
of child restraint systems. One type is a child 
restraint equipped with an anchorage belt. An- 
chorage belts, more commonly referred to as 
tether straps, are supplemental belts under to at- 
tach the child restraint to the vehicle. The other 
type of restraint subject to the 20 mph crash test is 
a child restraint with a fixed or movable surface 
which helps to restrain the child's forward move- 
ment in the event of a crash. This type of child 
restraint provides protection by the use of its own 
belt system and a surface which can be used in- 
dependently of the belt system. Both these types of 
child restraints are tested with only the vehicle lap 
belt holding the child restraint to the standard test 
seat and, in the case of restraints with a fixed or 
movable surface forward of the child, without at- 
taching the restraint's belt system to hold the test 
dummy in place. This test, referred to as Test Con- 
figuration II in section S6. 1.2. 1.2 in Standard No. 
2l3, is intended to take account of the possibility 
that the tether strap or the restraint's belt system 
will either be misused or not used at all by parents. 
If this happens. Test Configuration II should en- 
sure that these types of restraints will offer 
minimal protection even when they are not prop- 
erly used. 

This rulemaking action addresses only the ques- 
tion of restraints with tether straps, and does not 
affect restraints with fixed or movable surfaces 
forward of the child. Tether straps have presented 
a difficult question for the agency since at least 
1979. When a tether strap is properly attached, a 
child restraint equipped with a tether strap will 
generally offer the best protection for child oc- 
cupants, particularly those riding in the front seat 
or involved in side impact crashes. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 51 



However, the results of surveys have continually 
shown that tether straps are not attached by the 
vast majority of the public. The most recent study 
available to the agency on this topic (Cynecki and 
Goryl, "The Incidence and Factors Associated 
with Child Safety Seat Misuse"; December 1984, 
DOT HS-806 676) found that nearly 85 percent of 
child restraints with tether straps were used 
without properly attaching the tether straps. The 
Cynecki and Goryl study recommended that the 
best solution for this problem would be to redesign 
the restraints to eliminate the need for tether 
straps. 

This same suggestion had been made previously 
by several commenters in connection with the final 
ride substantially upgrading the performance re- 
quirements fo Standard No. 213; 44 FR 72131, 
December 13, 1979. At the time of that rulemaking 
action, however, restraints. The agency decided 
that it would be inappropriate to issue a rule which 
would have the effect of requiring a major redesign 
of most child restraint systems then on the market, 
especially when the public was just beginning to 
appreciate the importance of using child 
restraints. Further, NHTSA expected that proper 
usage of restraints with tethers would grow as 
public awareness and knowledge of child restraints 
grew. 

When NHTSA reexamined this decision in light 
of the Cynecki and Goryl report, the reasoning no 
longer seemed valid. First, at this time, approx- 
imately one-fifth of all new child restraints, in- 
cluding booster seats, are equipped with a tether 
strap necessary for the protection of the child occu- 
pant. Thus, a rule which would have the effect of 
requiring a redesign of these restraints would have 
a substantially smaller impact on the child 
restraint market now than it would have had in 
1979. 

Second, and most significant, the expectation of 
increased proper use of tether straps has not been 
realized. Perhaps the most troubling fact in the 
Cynecki and Goryl report cited above was that 78 
percent of the persons not using the tether strap to 
attach the child restraint to the vehicle knew that 
its use was necessary. This indicates that, while 
public awarness and knowledge of child restraints 
has grown significantly since 1979, that awareness 
and knowledge has not resulted in increased 
proper use of tether straps. 

Because of its concern for the safety of children 
riding in motor vehicles, NHTSA tentatively de- 



g 

cided that it was no longer reasonable to allow w 

restraints with tethers to be tested in only a 20 
mph crash in the way they will be used by the 
public, that is, without attaching the tether strap. 
The agency believed that those restraints, like 
restraints without tethers, should be tested in a 30 
mph crash in the way they will be used by the 
public. This would ensure that all child restraints 
afforded equivalent protection to children riding 
therein. 

Accordingly, NHTSA published a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking (NPRM) on July 5, 1985; 50 FR 
27633, proposing that all child restraints other 
than child harnesses be tested in the 30 mph crash 
test when attached to the test seat only by means 
of the lap belt. This proposal was intended to en- 
sure that restraints with tethers afford the same 
level of protection to child restraint occupants as 
do restraints without tethers when tested in the 
manner both will be used by the public. 

That NPRM also proposed some less significant 
changes to Standard No. 213. These were as 
follows: 

(1) The standard currently specifies that the 
child restraint be installed in the center seating i 
position during the testing. However, many new " 
vehicles are produced without a front or rear 
center seating position. This trend raised the con- 
cern that the tests were growing less represen- 
tative of the conditions which would be en- 
countered by the child restraint when it was in use. 
Accordingly, the NPRM proposed to amend Stand- 
ard No. 213 to require that child restraints be 
tested in one of the two outboard seating positions. 

An anticipated added benefit of this change would 
be that it would reduce testing costs for the child 
restraint manufacturers, because two child 
restraints could be evaluated in the same test. 

(2) Standard No. 213 requires that all child 
restraints equipped with a tether strap be per- 
manently lableed with a notice that the tether 
strap must be properly secured as specified in the 
manufacturer's instructions. The NPRM proposed 
that the phrase "For extra protection in frontal 
and side impacts" be added in front of that notice. 
This change would convey the fact that the tether 
strap was a supplementary safety device, as pro- 
posed in the NPRM, while also affirming that addi- 
tional safety protection is afforded when the tether 
strap is properly attached. 

(3) Two changes were proposed to clarify what 
was meant in the requirements concerning the in- 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 52 



stallation instructions to be provided along with 
the child restraint by the restraint's manufacturer. 
These were: 

(a) The installation instructions are currently 
required to state that, in most vehicles, the rear 
center seating position is the safest seating 
position for installing a child restraint. This 
statement in the instructions has resulted in 
numerous inquiries to the agency by consumers 
wanting to know the safest seating position for 
vehicles with only two rear outboard seating 
positions. To eliminate this confusion on the part 
of the public, the NPRM proposed that the instal- 
lation instructions be modified to state that, for 
maximum safety protection, the child restraint 
should be installed in a rear seating position in 
vehicles with two rear seating positions and in 
the center rear seating position in vehicles with 
three rear seating positions. 

(b) The installation instructions in Standard 
No. 213 also require that child restraint manu- 
facturer to "specify in general terms the types of 
vehicles, seating positions, and vehicle lap belts 
with which the system can or cannot be used." 
This requirement has frequently been errone- 
ously interpreted to mean that child restraint 
manufacturers are required to state the specific 
vehicles, specific seating positions, and the 
specific vehicle lap belts with which a child re- 
straint manufacturers are required to state the 
specific vehicles, specific seating positions, and 
the specific vehicle lap belts with which a child 
restraint can or cannot be used. The NPRM pro- 
posed an amendment to make clear the agency's 
intent that the instructions specify the types of 
vehicles (e.g., passenger cars, pickup trucks, 
vans, buses, etc.), the types of seating positions 
(e.g., front, rear, bench, bucket, side facing, rear 
facing, folding, etc.) and the types of vehicle 
safety belts (e.g., diagonal, lap-shoulder, 
emergency locking, etc.) with which the restraint 
system can or cannot be used. 

A total of 15 comments were received on the 
NPRM. The commenters included vehicle manu- 
facturers, child restraint manufacturers, the Na- 
tional Transportation Safety Board, researchers 
from two state universities, child safety advocates, 
and individual consumers. Each of these comments 
was considered and the most significant ones are 
addresssed below. 

Attaching Tether Straps During the 30 MPH Test 
and the Need fin- the 20 MPH Test 

Before discussing the comments received on this 
issue, the most significant one raised in the NPRM, 



NHTSA believes it would be useful to explain the 
differences between the different types of child 
restraints. 

1. Child seats. A child seat is a child restraint 
that uses a plastic shell as a frame around the child, 
and has a shield, belts, or the like attached to the 
shell to restrain the child in the event of a crash. 
All but one of the currently produced models of 
child seats do not need to have an attached tether 
strap to pass the 30 mph test. However, two of the 
models which do not need a tether strap to pass the 
30 mph test offer a tether strap as an option for ex- 
tra protection of the child restraint's occupant. 

2. Booster seats. A booster seat is a platform 
used to elevate a child in a vehicle. It does not have 
a frame or any other structural protection behind 
the child's back or head. Booster seats are de- 
signed to be used by older children who have 
outgrown child seats. By elevating these children, 
the booster seat allows the child to see out of the 
vehicle and to use the belt system in the vehicle. 
About half the current production of booster seats 
uses a special harness system attached to the vehi- 
cle by a tether strap to provide upper torso 
restraint for the booster seat occupant. The other 
half of current production of booster seats uses a 
small shield in front of the child to provide upper 
torso restraint. 

3. Child harnesses. A child harness consists of 
a web of belts which are placed around the child, 
and is then anchored to the vehicle by a tether 
strap. Only one model of child harness is currently 
in production. Child harnesses are tested only in 
the 30 mph test with the tether attached according 
to the manufacturer's instructions, and are not 
subject to the 20 mph test. The reason for this dif- 
fering treatment for child harnesses are compared 
to other child restraints is the agency's opinion 
that child harness tethers are in fact properly used 
by the public, due to the nature of the device— i.e., 
if the tether strap is not attached, it would be 
obvious that the child would be completly unre- 
strained in the event of a crash. 

4. Restraints for use by physically handicapped 
children. These restraints are essentially wheel- 
chairs, some of which fold so that the wheelchair 
can be positioned in the rear seat of passenger 
cars. Other restraints are simply devices to tie 
down a wheelchair while the child is travelling in a 
van, bus, or similar vehicle. All currently produced 
child restraints for use by physically handicapped 
children use their own belt system and tether 
straps to provide the necessary upper torso 
restraint. The NPRM did not propose any exemp- 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 53 



tion for these restraints from the proposed require- 
ment that they pass the 30 mph test without at- 
taching any tether straps. Thus, if the NPRM were 
adopted as proposed, all of these restraints would 
have to be redesigned. 

This final rule establishes the following re- 
quirements for the different types of child 
restraints. Child seats will not be allowed to have 
any tether straps attached during the 30 mph test 
required by Standard No. 213. They will also no 
longer be required to be tested in the 20 mph test. 
However, child harnesses, booster seats, and 
restraints for use by physically handicapped 
children will be allowed to continue to have tether 
straps attached during the 30 mph test. The 
reasoning supporting these decisions is set forth 
below. 

CHILD SEATS 

Almost all of the commenters addressing the 
agency's proposal to require child seats equipped 
with tether straps to pass the 30 mph test without 
attaching the tether supported the requirement. 
The only commenter which opposed this require- 
ment was a child restraint manufacturer, arguing 
that a change at this time would "cause confusion 
of dealers and consumers with units that required 
tethers". The manufacturer further argued that if 
this change were made, "the Federal government 
must given child restraint manufacturers some 
sort of security blanket to protect them from 
lawsuits and recall of existing units." 

NHTSA does not believe it is very likely that 
either dealers or consumers will be confused by the 
requirement that child seats with tethers pass the 
30 mph test with the tether strap unattached. The 
new requirement would apply only to child seats 
manufactured after the effective date of this rule. 
Child seats manufactured before the effective date 
of this rule may be sold even if their tether strap 
must be attached to pass the 30 mph test. Hence, 
the agency does not see any reason for child seat 
dealers to be confused by this rule. Moreover, the 
public will receive the manufacturer's instructions 
with the child seat explaining how it is to be used. 
Thus, there does not appear to be any reason for 
the public to be confused by this rule. 

NHTSA does not have any authority to given 
restraint manufacturers a "security blanket" to 
protect them from lawsuits or recalls of child seats 
with tethers. Even if NHTSA believed it was 
appropriate to protect a manufactuer from 



lawsuits in a particular instance, only Congress has 
authority to do so. A recall of child seats must be 
based on a determination that the seats either do 
not comply with the requirements of Standard No. 
213 in effect on the date of manufacture of the seat 
or that the seat contains a safety-related defect, as 
specified in sections 151 and 152 of the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 
1411 and 1412). If either determinatioon were 
made, the manufacturer is required by Section 154 
of the Safety act (15 U.S.C. S1415) to remedy the 
noncompliance or defect. 

For the reasons set forth at length in the NPRM 
and briefly reiterated at the beginning of this 
preamble, and because only one child seat model is 
being produced that requires the tether strap to be 
attached, NHTSA is adopting the proposed 
requirement that all child seats pass the 30 mph 
test without any tether straps attached. This re- 
quirement applies to all child seats manufactured 
after the effective date of this rule. 

As an adjunct to this rulemaking, child seats 
equipped with a tether strap will not longer be sub- 
ject to the requirement that they also pass a 20 
mph test with the tether unattached. Since these 
child seats will now be subject to the 30 mph test 
with tether unattached, no purpose would be 
served by requiring the seats to be tested in a less 
severe manner under the same conditions. 

BOOSTER SEATS 

The commenters split on the issue of whether 
booster seats should be required to pass the 30 mph 
crash test with the tether strap unattached. The 
Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, Chrysler 
Corporation, the National Transportation Safety 
Board, and two individuals supported the proposed 
requirements for the reasons explained in the 
NPRM. However, the National Child Passenger 
Safety Association, Physicians for Automotive 
Safety, the University of Michigan, and resear- 
chers associated with the University of North 
Carolina opposed the proposed requirement. The 
gist of these opposing comments was as follows: 
the only means currently available for providing 
the needed upper torso restraint to booster seat oc- 
cupants is with either a tether strap and harness or 
with a short shield in front of the child. A require- 
ment to pass the 30 mph test without an attached 
tether strap would force manufacturers to equip all 
booster seats with a short shield. These com- 
menters were concerned about the adequacy of the 
safety protection afforded to booster seat occu- 
pants by these short shields. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 54 



The University of Michigan commented that it is 
currently engaged in a research program to 
develop an abdominal penetration sensor for the 
3-year old dummy currently used in Standard No. 
213 testing. They stated that they have undertaken 
this research because of their concern about the 
abdominal loading to which the short shield ex- 
poses the child during the 30 mph crash test. The 
University of Michigan concluded its comment by 
stating that its preliminary tests with a prototype 
of its abdominal penetration sensor suggests that 
children are in fact exposed to high abdominal 
loading by the short shields used on booster seats 
without tethers. The researchers associated with 
the University of North Carolina concurred with 
the University of Michigan on the need to examine 
the abominal loading associated with booster seats 
without tethers before mandating that all booster 
seats be capable of passing the 30 mph test without 
an attached tether. 

The agency is also aware of other concerns which 
have been expressed by child safety researchers in 
connection with the short shields used in booster 
seats without tethers. For example, there is con- 
cern that older children could be seriously injured 
by having their head and neck wrap around the 
shield, since the shield is not large enough to 
restrain those parts of the body in a crash situa- 
tion. This concern was raised in the comments sub- 
mitted by the National Child Passenger Safety 
Association. Another concern is that the short 
shield booster seats do not provide any crotch 
restraint. It is possible that smaller children could 
submarine under the short shields on booster 
seats, leaving these children completely unre- 
strained in the event of a crash. 

NHTSA wishes to emphasize that booster seats 
without tethers comply with all current require- 
ments of Standard No. 213 using the 3-year old 
dummy. Nevertheless, the issues raised by the 
commenters regarding the effectiveness of short 
shields on booster seats are matters of concern to 
the agency. Since the short shields used on booster 
seats without tethers represent the only current 
alternative to the use of tether straps on booster 
seats, NHTSA has concluded that it would be an 
unwise policy to essentially require the use of short 
shields on booster seats (by adopting the proposed 
requirements) before the agency has investigated 
the validity of the above-mentioned safety con- 
cerns. If testing showed that short shields did not 
provide adequate safety protection to children 
after the agency had essentially required the use of 



such shields on all booster seats, this rulemaking 
would not achieve the agency's goal of improving 
the protection offered to child restraint occupants. 
Therefore, it is premature to adopt the proposed 
requirements as they apply to booster seats. 

The agency will investigate the allegations that 
have been made about the short shields on booster 
seats. The agency investigation, together wdth the 
University of Michigan testing on the abdominal 
loading imposed by these short shields, should help 
resolve the stated concerns. 

There is also an important distinction between 
child seats with tethers and booster seats with 
tethers, which suggests that it is not as imperative 
to require that booster seats not be permitted to 
have an attached tether strap during the 30 mph 
test. Booster seats equipped with tethers are 
designed to be used either with the tether strap at- 
tached to the vehicle or with a lap-shoulder belt. 
When a lap-shoulder belt in a vehicle so that it will 
provide the necessary upper torso support. When 
upper torso support is provided by a vehicle 
shoulder belt, it is not necessary to attach the 
tether strap to provide the necessary upper torso 
support. 

This feature resulted in observed correct usage 
of booster seats equipped with tethers in 38.0 per- 
cent of the total cases in the Cynecki and Goryl 
report cited above. The tether strap was properly 
attached in 8.5 percent of the cases, and the lap- 
shoulder belt was correctly used with the booster 
seat in 29.5 percent of the observed cases. This 
38.0 percent correct usage of booster seats with 
tethers compares favorably with the 41.2 percent 
correct usage of child seats not equipped with 
tethers, and both stand in sharp contrast to the 7.0 
percent usage of child seats equipped wdth tethers. 

The reason explained in the NPRM for proposing 
that tether straps not be attached during the 30 
mph test was because of the overwhelming incor- 
rect usage of child restraints with tethers by the 
public. However, the data available to the agency 
suggest that booster seats equipped with tethers 
are used correctly almost as often as child seats 
without tethers. 

CHILD HARNESSES 

The NPRM did not propose to change the cur- 
rent treatment for child harnesses in the Standard 
No. 213 testing. The surveys and data available to 
the agency have not examined the extent to which 
child harness tethers are misused by the public. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 55 



Moreover, NHTSA believes it would be obvious to 
users of child harnesses that the failure to attach 
the tether strap would leave the child completely 
unrestrained in a crash. The absence of data in- 
dicating misuse of child harness tether straps, to- 
gether with the obvious need to attach these tether 
straps, resulted in the agency's position that the 
NPRM should not propose any changes to Stand- 
ard No. 213 in this regard: that is, child harness 
would be permitted to have their tether straps 
attached during the 30 mph test and not be subject 
to the 20 mph test. No commenters addressed this 
area of the proposal, and the final rule does not 
make any changes to the current requirements for 
child harnesses for the reasons explained above. 

CHILD RESTRAINTS FOR PHYSICALLY 
HANDICAPPED CHILDRES 

A number of commenters urged the agency to 
exempt child restraints designed for handicapped 
children from the proposal that all child restraints, 
except child harnesses, pass the 30 mph test in 
Standard No. 213 without any tether strap at- 
tached. A manufacturer of child restraints for 
physically handicapped children commented: "Now 
that safe transportation for the handicapped child 
has become a reality, through the use of restraint 
harnesses, tether systems, and wheelchairs 
engineered to meet Standard No. 213, it seems 
counterproductive for the handicapped population 
and manufacturers to start over again." 

NHTSA did not intend to require any changes to 
thes restraints, and a statement proposing the con- 
tinuation of current testing requirements for 
restraints for physically handicapped children was 
inadvertently omitted from the NPRM. The 
agency during the 30 mph test and will not require 
these restraints to be subjected to the 20 mph test 
without test without the tether attached. NHTSA 
has no data showing that these restraints are fre- 
quently misused by the public. Additionally, there 
is no alternative at present to the use of tether 
straps to provide the necessary upper torso sup- 
port for physically handicapped children. Hence, 
any requirement to eliminate the use of tether 
straps on restraints for physically handicapped 
children would lessen the protection available for 
those children. This was not the agency's intent in 
the NPRM. 

OTHER ISSUES 

The NPRM proposed that child restraints be in- 
stalled at one of the two outboard seating positions 
on the standard seat during the testing. As ex- 



plained above, this was proposed to ensure that the 
testing would be representative of the way in 
which child restraints would be used by the public. 
It was also proposed to enable child restraint 
manufacturers to reduce testing costs by eval- 
uating two child restraint systems in a single test. 

The commenters that addressed this proposed 
change generally opposed it. The University of 
Michigan commented that there was no basis for 
the concern expressed in the NPRM that testing in 
the center seating position might not be represen- 
tative of the way in which child restraints are used 
by the public. 'The University stated: "We know 
from field experience that those restraints that 
meet the 30 mph test in the center seating position 
also effectively protect children in most crashes." 
Stated differently, child restraints that pass the 30 
mph crash test in the center seating position have 
performed well when installed in the outboard 
seating positions of vehicles in use. The available 
data on the performance of child restraint systems 
indicate that the Standard No. 213 test procedures 
are representative of the conditions encountered 
by restraint systems when in use. 

Further, one child restraint manufacturer and 
the University of Michigan stated that the 
agency's proposed change might increase testing 
costs, instead of achieving the agency's stated in- 
tent of reducing those costs. This could happen 
because child restraints would be subjected to 
slightly differing forces produced by asymmetrical 
lap belt anchorages at the outboard seating posi- 
tions. Further, it was stated that all child 
restraints are not symmetrical, and their test per- 
formance might be affected by a twist in one direc- 
tion, but not the other. These facts would mean 
that all existing models of child restraints would 
have to be retested to ensure that the restraints 
would pass the Standard No. 213 requirements 
when installed at the outboard seating positions. In 
addition, the child restraints would have to be 
tested at both the left and right outboard seating 
positions, because of the differenct forces 
presented at these different seating locations. 

The proposed change to the required seating 
position for testing child restraints is not adopted 
in this final rule, because of the reasons set forth in 
the comments. 

The NPRM also proposed that manufacturers be 
required to insert the phrase "For extra protection 
in frontal and side impacts" before the notice on 
the label that tether straps must be attached in ac- 
cordance with the manufacturer's instructions. 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 56 



This change was proposed in connection with the 
proposal to require all child restraints equipped 
with tethers to pass the 30 mph test without at- 
taching the tethers. The change in the label 
language was intended to inform the public that 
the tether strap would offer supplementary safety 
protection when attached, but that it was not 
necessary to attach the tether for adequate 
protection. 

BMW commented that the proposed change 
would have the unintended effect of implying that 
it was not necessary to use tether straps, and this 
implication would decrease the already low use of 
tether straps. The agency believes that the BMW 
comment has merit. The possibility of decreasing 
tether usage, combined with the fact that child 
harnesses, booster seats, and restraints for 
physically handicapped children may include tether 
straps, the attachment of which is necessary for 
adequate protection of the child, have led the 
agency to conclude that the proposed change to the 
label language should not be adopted in this final 
rule. 

The other proposed changes were clarifications 
to the instructions which must accompany each 
child restraint. No commenters addressed these 
clarifications, and they are adopted for the reasons 
explained in the NPRM. 

PART 571 -(AMENDED] 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
S571.213 is amended as follows: 

1. The authority citation for Part 571 continues 
to read as follows: 

AUTHORITY: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401,1403, 1407; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 

2. S4 is amended by adding the following defini- 
tion immediately before the definition of "car 
bed": 

S4. Definitions. 

"Booster seat" means a child restraint which 
consist of only a seating platform that does not ex- 
tend up to provide a cushion for the child's back or 
head. 



3. S5.6.1 is revised to read as follows: 

55.6.1 The instructions shall state that, for 
maximum safety protection, child restraint 
systems should be installed in a rear seating posi- 
tion in vehicles with two rear seating positions and 
in the center rear seating position in vehicles with 
such a seating position. 

4. S5.6.2 is revised to read as follows: 

55.6.2 The instructions shall specify in general 
terms the types of vehicles, the types of seating 
positions, and the types of vehicle safety belts with 
which the system can or cannot be used. 

5. S6. 1.2.1 is revised to read as follows: 
S6.1.2.1 Test configuration. 

56.1. 2.1.1 Test configuration I. In the case of 
each child restraint system other than a child 
harness, a booster seat with a top anchorage strap, 
or a restraint designed for use by physically handi- 
capped children, install a new child restraint 
system at the center seating position of the 
standard seat assembly in accordance with the 
manufacturer's instructions provided with the 
system pursuant to S5.6, except that the restraint 
shall be secured to the standard vehicle seat using 
only the standard vehicle lap belt. A child harness, 
booster seat with a top anchorage strap, or a 
restraint designed for use by physically handi- 
capped children shall be installed at the center 
seating position of the standard seat assembly in 
accordance with the manufacturer's instructions 
provided with the system pursuant to S5.6. 

56.1.2.1.2 Test configuration II. In the case of 
each child restraint system which is equipped with 
a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2, or 
a booster seat with a top anchorage strap, install a 
new child restraint system at the center seating 
position of the standard seat assembly using only 
the standard seat lap belt to secure the system to 
the standard seat. 

Issued on February 10, 1986. 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

51 F.R. 5335 
February 13, 1986 



PART 571; S 213-PRE 57-58 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 

SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems 
[Docket No. 87-05; Notice 2] 



ACTION: Final Rule. 

SUMMARY: This document amends Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213, Chiid Restraint 
Systems, to permit installing built-in child re- 
straint systems in passenger cars. The agency 
initiated this action in response to a petition for 
rulemaking submitted by Mr. Verne L. Freeland. 
As amended, Standard 213 sets performance 
requirements both for add-on child restraint sys- 
tems, and for child restraint systems that form an 
integral part of a vehicle seat (built-in restraints). 

DATE: This final rule is effective on January 22, 
1988. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 
23. 1987, NHTSA published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM) in response to a petition 
from Mr. Verne L. Freeland. (52 FR 9194). Mr. 
Freeland asked that the agency amend Standard 
213, Child Restraint Systems, to permit the pro- 
duction and installation of a child restraint system 
that forms an integral part of a vehicle seat (built- 
in child restraint system). Standard 213 was 
issued by the agency under the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Safety Act. (15 U.S.C. 
1392 et seq.) When Mr. Freeland submitted his 
peti.tion, the Standard set out performance re- 
quirements for a child restraint system that is 
placed on a vehicle seat and held in position by a 
vehicle lap belt (add-on child restraint system). 

Because add-on child restraint systems were 
the only type of child restraint systems produced 
when the agency issued Standard 213 in 1970, the 
Standard addressed that kind of restraint, al- 
though some specifications would have been ap- 
propriate for built-in restraints. Recognizing that 
some Standard 213 provisions might apply either 
to built-in or add-on restraints, the agency pro- 
posed to amend the Standard only to the extent 
necessary to accommodate built-in restraints. In 
those instances where specifications would not 
accommodate built-in restraints, the agency pro- 
posed creating a separate requirement for each 
kind of restraint. NHTSA is adopting the amend- 
ments set out in the NPRM without change. 



The agency received two comments on the 
proposed rule. A private citizen favored the 
amendment, stating that the convenience of a 
built-in child restraint might increase system use, 
and that instruction and labeling would facilitate 
appropriate use. The second commenter was Volvo 
Cars of North America (Volvo). Volvo generally 
favored the proposed amendment because the 
agency would be removing restrictions that inhibit 
innovation in child restraint systems design. 

However, the company suggested that NHTSA 
delete the knee excursion requirement in sub- 
paragraph S5.1.3.1(b.) The knee excursion re- 
quirement exists to preclude a child restraint 
system design that controls unacceptable forward 
head movement under test conditions by allowing 
excessive forward and down movement of the 
lower body. When a test dummy slides excessively 
forward and down, legs first, under crash test 
conditions, the phenomenon is called "sub- 
marining." 

The company gave two reasons for its suggestion 
that the agency delete the knee excursion require- 
ment for built-in child restraint systems. The first 
was that because section S5.4.3.3 of the Standard 
requires a 5-point harness (including a crotch 
strap), the risk of submarining is minimal; there- 
fore, the knee excursion requirement is un- 
necessary. The second reason is the difficulty in 
filming knee excursion during a crash test given 
that a manufacturer must test a built-in restraint 
in a complete vehicle or body shell. (One tests an 
add-on child restraint by securing it to a special 
test platform traveling at an equivalent vehicle 
speed of 30 miles per hour.) NHTSA rejects 
Volvo's suggestion for the following reasons. 

The 5-Point Ha mess and Reduced Submarining 
Risk. First, contrary to Volvo's comment, S5.4.3.3 
allows child restraint systems other than a 5-point 
harness system. Because those systems may not 
include a crotch strap, the risk of submarining is 
significant and the need for a knee excursion 
requirement is indisputable. However, Volvo 
correctly observes that the risk of submarining is 
"very small" for current child restraint systems 
that use a 5-point harness. On the other hand, a 
critical reason that the agency has a knee excursion 



PART571;S213-PRE59 



requirement is to discourage a manufacturer's 
permtttihg excessive knee excursion in order to 
achieve acceptable head excursion or injury 
limitations. NHTSA wishes to preclude this kind 
of trade-off in any type of restraint system, and 
therefore declines to eliminate the knee excursion 
requirement. 

Difficulty in Filming Knee Excursion During a 
Crash Test. NHTSA finds this argument without 
merit. The technology of photographing events 
occurring in actual or simulated vehicle crashes is 
well developed. To record events inside a vehicle 
during a crash, it is common practice in both 
research and compliance testing to mount a camera 
facing inward either on a stationary bracket or on 
a bracket attached to the automobile or sled- 
structure. A built-in child restraint systems 
manufacturer can use a similar procedure to 
record knee excursion. 

NHTSA recognizes that it may not be easy to 
combine the knee excursion test with other vehicle 
tests: therefore, installing a built-in restraint in a 
vehicle may add to development costs. On the 
other hand, the agency does not require that a 
manufacturer install such a system, and these 
added costs may be avoided simply through the 
manufacturer's election not to offer built-in re- 
straints. A manufacturer which chooses to provide 
a built-in restraint system must be willing to 
make a reasonable assessment of the system's 
safety. 

Conclusion. NHTSA concludes that built-in 
child restraint systems can provide a level of 
safety at least equal to that provided by add-on 
child restraint systems. Additionally, the agency 
notes that a built-in child restraint system may 
encourage system use because these systems will 
be available as an integral part of the vehicle. 

Therefore, the agency adopts the change to 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213 
set out in the NPRM published on March 23, 1983. 

Effective Date. This rule will make manufac- 
turing child restraint systems less restrictive by 
permitting production and installation of a new 
type of system. Further, the Standard as amended 
does not require a manufacturer to include the 
system in its product line, but rather expands 
manufacturer options. Because the rules relieves 
a restriction, there is good cause for making it 
effective immediately, i.e., on the publication 
date. 

PART 571 [AMENDED] 

In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA 
amends Title 49, Part 571.213, Child Restraint 
Systems, as follows: 



SA ofA9 CFR571.213is amended to include three 
new definitions as follows: 

"Add-on child restraint system" means any 
portable child restrain system. 

"Built-in child restraint system" means any 
child restraint system which is an integral part of 
a passenger car. 

"Specific vehicle shell" means the actual vehicle 
model part into which the built-in child restraint 
system is fabricated, including the complete 
surroundings of the built-in system. If the built-in 
child restraint system is manufactured as part of 
the rear seat, these surroundings include the back 
of the front seat, the interior rear side door panels 
and trim, the rear seat, the floor pan, the B and C 
pillars, and the ceiling. If the built-in system is 
manufactured as part of the front seat, these 
surroundings include the dashboard: the steering 
wheel, column, and attached levers and knobs; the 
"A" pillars: any levers and knobs installed in the 
floor or on a console: the interior front side door 
panels and trim: the front seat; the floor pan; and 
the ceiling. 

S5 of lt9 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5 Requirements for child restraint systems 
certified for use in motor vehicles. Each child 
restraint system certified for use in motor vehicles 
shall meet requirements in this section when, as 
specified, tested in accordance with S6.1 

S5. 1.3.1 of 49 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5. 1.3.1 Child restraint systems other than rear- 
facing ones and car beds. Each child restraint 
system, other than rear-facing child restraint 
systems or a car bed, shall retain the test dummy's 
torso within the system. 

(a) In the case of an add-on child restraint 
system, no portion of the test dummy's head shall 
pass through a vertical transverse plane that is 32 
inches forward of point z on the standard seat 
assembly, measured along the center SORL (as 
illustrated in Figure IB), and neither knee pivot 
point shall pass through a vertical, transverse 
plane that is 36 inches forward of point z on the 
standard seat assembly, measured along the center 
SORL. 

(b) In the case of a built-in child restraint 
system, neither knee pivot shall pass through a 
vertical, transverse plane that is 36 inches forward 
of the hinge poi nt of the specific passenger car seat 
into which the system is built, measured along a 
horizontal line parallel to the vehicle's longitudinal 
center line and the center line of the passenger car 
seat. 



PART571;S213-PRE60 



S5.2.1.2 ofJtB CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5.2. 1.2 A front-facing child restraint system is 
not required to comply with S5. 2.1.1 if the target 
point on either side of the dummy's head is below a 
horizontal plane tangent to the top of— 

(a) The standard seat assembly, in the case of 
an add-on child restraint system, when the dummy 
is positioned in the system and the system is 
installed on the assembly in accordance with 
S6.1.2. 

(b) The passenger car seat, in the case of a 
built-in child restraint system, when the system is 
activated and the dummy is positioned in the 
system in accordance with S6.1.2. 

S5.2.2.2 of 49 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5.2.2.2 Each forward-facing child restraint 
system shall have no fixed or movable surface — 

(a) Directly forward of the dummy and inter- 
sected by a horizontal line— 

(1) Parallel to the SORL, in the case of the 
add-on child restraint system, or 

(2) Parallel to a vertical plane through the 
longitudinal center line of the passenger car seat, 
in the case of the built-in child restraint system, 
and 

(b) Passing through any portion of the dummy, 
except for surfaces which restrain the dummy 
when the system is tested in accordance with 
S6. 1.2. 1.2, so that the child restraint system shall 
conform to the requirements of S5. 1.2 and S5. 1.3.1. 

S5.S.1 and S5.3.2 of Jt9 CFR 571.213 isrevisedto 
read as folloivs: 

55.3.1 Each add-on child restraint system shall 
have no means designed for attaching the system 
to a vehicle seat cushion or vehicle seat back and 
no component (except belts) that is designed to be 
inserted between the vehicle seat cushion and 
vehicle seat back. 

55.3.2 When installed on a vehicle seat, each 
add-on child restraint system, other than child 
harnesses, shall be capable of being restrained 
against forward movement solely by means of a 
Type I seat belt assembly (defined in §571.209) 
that meets Standard No. 208 (§571.208), or by 
means of a Type I seat belt assembly plus one 
additional anchorage strap that is supplied with 
the system and conforms to S5.4. 

85.4.3.2 of 49 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5.4.3.2 Direct restraint. Each belt that is part 
of a child restraint system and that is designed to 
restrain a child using the system and to attach the 
system to the vehicle shall, when tested in ac- 



cordance with S6.1, impose no loads on the child 
that result from the mass of the system, or 

(a) in the case of an add-on child restraint 
system, from the mass of the seat back of the 
standard seat assembly specified in S7.3, or 

(b) in the case of a built-in child restraint 
system, from the mass of any part of the vehicle 
into which the child restraint system is built. 

S5.5.1 of 49 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5.5.1 Each add-on child restraint system shall 
be permanently labeled with the information 
specified in S5. 5.2(a) through (1). 

S5.5.3 of 49 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

55.5.3 The information specified in S5.5.2(g) 
through (k) shall be located on the add-on child 
restraint system so that it is visible when the 
system is installed as specified in S5.6.1. 

A new paragraph S5.5.4 is added to 49 CFR 
571.213 to read as follows: 

55.5.4 Each built-in child restraint system shall 
be permanently labeled with the information 
specified in S5.5.5(a) through (j), so that it is 
visible when the system is activated for use as 
specified in S5.6.2. 

A new paragraph S5.5.5 is added to 49 CFR 
571.213 to read as folloivs: 

55.5.5 The information specified in paragraphs 
(a) through (j) of this section shall be stated in the 
English language and lettered in letters and 
numbers which are not smaller than 10-point type 
and are on a contrasting background. This in- 
formation shall be printed in the vehicle owner's 
manual. 

(a) The model name or number of the system. 

(b) The manufacturer's name. A distributor's 
or dealer's name may be used instead if the 
distributor or dealer assumes responsibility for 
all duties and liabilities imposed on the manufac- 
turer with respect to the system by the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended. 

(c) The statement: "Manufactured in ," 

inserting the month and year of manufacture. 

(d) The place of manufacture (city and State, 
or foreign country). However, if the manufacturer 
uses the name of the distributor or dealer, then it 
shall state the location (city and State, or foreign 
country) of the principal offices of the distributor 
or dealer. 

(e) The statement: "This child restraint system 
conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards." 

(f) One of the following statements, inserting 
the manufacturer's recommendations for the 



PART571;S213-PRE61 



maximum weight and heigiit of children who can 
safely occupy the system: 

(i) This infant restrain is designed for use by 
children who weigh — - pounds or less and whose 
height is - — inches or less; 

(ii) Thischild restraint is designed for use only 
by children who weigh between — - and - — pounds 
and whose height is — - inches or less and who are 
capable of sitting upright alone; or 

(iii) This child restraint is designed for use by 
children who weigh between -— and — pounds 
and are between - — and - — inches in height, 
(g) The following statement: 
WARNING! FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE 
MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS ON 
THE USE OF THIS CHILD RESTRAINT 
SYSTEM CAN RESULT IN YOUR CHILD 
STRIKING THE VEHICLE'S INTERIOR 
DURING A SUDDEN STOP OR CRASH, 
(h) In the case of each built-in child restraint 
system that has belts designed to restrain children 
using them: 

SNUGLY ADJUST THE BELTS PROVIDED 

WITH THIS CHILD RESTRAINT AROUND 

YOUR CHILD. 

(i) In the case of each built-in child restraint 

which can be used in a rear-facing position, the 

following statement: 

PLACE AN INFANT IN A REAR-FACING 
POSITION IN THIS CHILD RESTRAINT, 
(j) A diagram or diagrams showing the fully 
activated child restraint system in infant and/or 
child configurations. 

S5.6 of A9 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5.6 Printed Instructions for Proper Use. 
S5.6.1 Add-on child restraint systems. Each 
add-on child restraint system shall be accompanied 
by printed installation instructions in the English 
language that provide a step-by-step procedure, 
including diagrams, for installing the system in 
motor vehicles, securing the system in the vehicles, 
positioning a child in the system, and adjusting 
the system to fit the child. 

S5.6. L 1 In a vehicle with rear designated seating 
positions, the instructions shall alert vehicle 
owners that, according to accident statistics, 
children are safer when properly restrained in the 
rear seating positions than in the front seating 
positions. 

S5.6.L2 The instructions shall specify in general 
terms the types of vehicles, the types of seating 
positions, and the types of vehicle safety belts with 
which the add-on child restraint system can or 
cannot be used. 



S5.6.L3 The instructions shall explain the 
primary consequences of not following the warn- 
ings required to be labeled on the child restraint 
system in accordance with S5.5.2 (g) through (k). 

S5.6.1.4 The instructions for each car bed shall 
explain that the car bed should position in such a 
way that the child's head is near the center of the 
vehicle. 

S5.6. L5 The instructions shall state that add-on 
child restraint systems should be securely belted 
to the vehicle, even when they are not occupied, 
since in a crash an unsecured child restraint 
system may injure other occupants. 

S5.6.L6 Each add-on child restraint system 
shall have a location on the restraint for storing 
the manufacturer's instructions. 

S5.6.2 Built-in child restraint systems. Each 
built-in child restraint system shall be ac- 
companied by printed instructions in the English 
language that provide a step-by-step procedure, 
including diagrams, for activating the built-in 
child restraint system, positioning a child in the 
system, adjusting the restraint, and if provided, 
the restraint harness to fit the child. This informa- 
tion and the information specified in S5.5.5 shall 
be included in the vehicle owner's manual. 

S5.6.2.1 The instructions shall explain the 
primary consequences of not following the man- 
ufacturer's warnings for proper use of the child 
restraint system in accordance with S5.5.5(f) 
through (i). 

S5.7 of A9 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S5.7 Flammability. Each material used in a 
child restraint system shall conform to the re- 
quirements of S4 of FMVSS No. 302 (57L302). In 
the case of a built-in child restraint system, the 
requirements of S4 of FMVSS No. 302 shall be 
met in both the "in-use" and "stowed" positions. 

S6.1.1.1 ofJtQ CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S6. 1.1. 1(a) The test device for add-on child 
restraint systems is the standard seat assembly 
specified in S7.3. The assembly is mounted on a 
dynamic test platform so that the center SORL of 
the seat is parallel to the direction of the test 
platform travel and so that movement between 
the base of the assembly and the platform is 
prevented. The test device for built-in child 
restraint systems is either the specific vehicle 
shell or the specific vehicle. The specific vehicle 
shell, if selected for testing, is mounted on a 
dynamic test platform so that the longitudinal | 
center line of the shell is parallel to the direction of 
the test platform travel and so that movement 



PART571:S213-PRE62 



between the base of the shell and the platform is 
prevented. 

(b) The platform is instrumented with an ac- 
celerometer and data processing system having a 
frequency response of 60 Hz channel class as 
specified in Society of Automotive Engineers 
Recommended Practice J211 JUN80 "Instru- 
mentation for Impact Tests." The accelerometer 
sensitive axis is parallel to the direction of test 
platform travel. 

(c) For built-in child restraint systems, an 
alternate test device is the specific vehicle into 
which the built-in system is fabricated. Activate 
the system in accordance with the manufacturer's 
instructions provided in the vehicle owner's 
manual in accordance with S5.6.2. When the 
complete vehicle traveling longitudinally forward 
at any speed up to and including 30 mph impacts a 
fixed collision barrier that is perpendicular to the 
line of travel of the vehicle, the built-in child 
restraint system shall meet the injury criteria of 
S5.1.2. The following test conditions apply to this 
alternate test device. 

(i) The vehicle is loaded to its unloaded vehicle 
weight plus its rated cargo and luggage capacity 
weight, secured in the luggage area, plus the 
appropriate child test dummy and, at the option of 
the manufacturer, an anthropomorphic test 
dummy which conforms to the requirements of 
Subpart B or Subpart E of Part 572 of this title for 
a 50th percentile adult male dummy placed in the 
front outboard seating position. If the built-in 
child restraint system is installed at one of the 
seating positions otherwise requiring the place- 
ment of a Part 572 test dummy, then in the frontal 
barrier crash specified in S6. 1.1.2, the appropriate 
child test dummy shall be substituted for the Part 
572 test dummy, but only at that seating position. 
The fuel tank is filled to any level from 90 to 95 
percent of capacity. 

(ii) Adjustable seats are in the adjustment 
position midway between the forward most and 
rearmost positions, and if separately adjustable in 
a vertical direction, are at the lowest position. If 
an adjustment position does not exist midway 
between the forward most and rearmost positions, 
the closest adjustment position to the rear of the 
midpoint is used. 

(iii) Adjustable seat backs are in the manufac- 
turer's nominal design riding position. If a nominal 
position is not specified, the seat back is positioned 
so that the longitudinal center line of the child test 
dummy's neck is vertical, and if an anthro- 
pomorphic test dummy is used, the accelerometer 



surfaces in the test dummy's head and thorax, as 
positioned in the vehicle, are horizontal. If the 
vehicle is equipped with adjustable head restraints, 
each is adjusted to its highest adjustment position. 

(iv) Movable vehicle windows and vents are, 
at the manufacturer's option, placed in the fully 
closed position. 

(v) Convertibles and open-body type vehicles 
have the top, if any, in place in the closed passenger 
compartment configuration. 

(vi) Doors are fully closed and latched but not 
locked. 

(vii) All instrumentation and data reduction is 
in conformance with SAE J211 JUN80. 

S6.1.1.2 is revised to read as follows: 

56. 1.1.2 The tests are frontal barrier impact 
simulations of the test platform or frontal barrier 
crashes of the specific vehicles as specified in S5. 1 
(571.208) and for: 

(a) Test Configuration I specified in S6.1.2.1.1 
are at a velocity change of 30 mph with the 
acceleration of the test platform entirely within 
the curve shown in Figure 2, or for the specific 
vehicle test with the deceleration produced in 30 
mph frontal barrier crash. 

(b) Test Configuration II specified in S6.1.2.1.2 
are set at a velocity change of 20 mph with the 
acceleration of the test platform entirely within 
the curve shown in Figure 3, or for the specific 
vehicle test with the deceleration produced in 20 
mph frontal barrier crash. 

56.1.1.3 ofJtQ CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S6. 1.1.3 In the case of add-on child restraint 
systems, Type 1 seat belt assemblies meeting the 
requirements of Standard No. 209 (§571.209) and 
having webbing with a width of not more than 2 
inches are attached, without the use of retractors 
or reels of any kind, to the seat belt anchorage 
points (illustrated in Figure IB) provided on the 
standard seat assembly. 

S6.1.2.1 of 49 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follou's: 

S6. 1.2.1 Test Configuration. 
S6. 1.2.1.1 Test Configuration I. (a) In the case of 
each add-on child restraint system other than a 
child harness, a booster seat with a top anchorage 
strap, or a restraint designed for use by physically 
handicapped children, install a new add-on child 
restraint system at the center seating position of 
the standard seat assembly in accordance with the 
manufacturer's instructions provided with the 
system pursuant to S5.6.1, except that the add-on 
restraint shall be secured to the standard vehicle 



PART 571; S213-PRE 63 



seat using only the standard vehicle lap belt. A 
child harness, a booster seat with a top anchorage 
strap, or a restraint designed for use by physically 
handicapped children shall be installed at the 
center seating position of the standard seat 
assembly in accordance with the manufacturer's 
instructions provided with the system pursuant to 
S5.6.1. 

(b) In the case of each built-in child restraint 
system, activate the restraint in the specific vehicle 
shell or the specific vehicle, in accordance with the 
manufacturer's instructions provided in the vehicle 
owner's manual in accordance with S5.6.2. 

S6. 1.2. 1.2 Test Configuration 11(a) In the case of 
each add-on child restraint system which is 
equipped with a fixed or movable surface described 
in S5.2.2.2, or a booster seat with a top anchorage 
strap, install a new add-on child restraint system 
at the center seating position of the standard seat 
assembly using only the standard seat lap belt to 
secure the system to the standard seat. 

(b) In the case of each built-in child restraint 
system which is equipped with a fixed or movable 
surface described in S5.2.2.2, or a built-in booster 
seat with a top anchorage strap, activate the 
system in the specific vehicle shell or the specific 
vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's 
instructions provided in the vehicle owner's 
manual in accordance with S5.6.2. 

S6.1.2.2 of 49 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S6.1.2.2 Tighten all belts used to attach the add- 
on child restraint system to the standard seat 
assembly to a tension of not less than 12 pounds 
and not more than 15 pounds, as measured by a 
load cell used on the webbing portion of the belt. 
Tighten all manual vehicle belts used to secure the 
built-in child restraint system or a child to the 
specific vehicle shell or specific vehicle to one of 
the following tensions: 

(a) For a seat equipped with a manual adjuster 
or automatic locking retractor, not less than 12 
pounds and not more than 15 pounds, as measured 
by a load cell used on the webbing portion of the 
belt; 

(b) For a seat equipped with an emergency 
locking retractor, as specified in S4.3 of Standard 
209. 

S6.1.2.3.1of49CFR571.213isrevisedtoreadas 
follows: 

S6. 1.2.3.1 When placing the 3-year-old test 
dummy in add-on or built-in child restraint 
systems other than car beds, position the test 
dummy according to the instructions for child 



positioning provided by the manufacturer with i 
the system in accordance with S5.6.1 or S5.6.2 \ 
while conforming to the following: 

(a) Holding the test dummy torso upright 
until it contacts the system's design seating sur- 
face, place the test dummy in the seated position 
within the system with the midsagittal plane of 
the test dummy head— 

(1) coincident with the center SORL of the 
standard seating assembly, in the case of the add- 
on child restraint system, or 

(2) vertical and parallel to the longitudinal 
center line of the specific vehicle shell or the 
specific vehicle, in the case of a built-in child 
restraint system. 

(b) Extend the arms of the test dummy as far 
as possible in the upward vertical direction. 
Extend the legs of the dummy as far as possible in 
the forward horizontal direction, with the dummy 
feet perpendicular to the centerline of the lower 
legs. 

(c) Using a flat square surface with an area of 
4 square inches, apply a force of 40 pounds, 
perpendicular to: 

(i) the plane of the back of the standard seat 
assembly in the case of an add-on child restraint 
system, or | 

(ii) the back of the vehicle seat in the specific 
vehicle shell or the specific vehicle in the case of a 
built-in child restraint system, first against the 
dummy crotch and then at the dummy thorax in 
the midsagittal plane of the dummy. For a child 
restraint system with a fixed or movable surface 
described in S5.2.2.2, which is being tested under 
the conditions of Test Configuration II, do not 
attach any of the child restraint belts unless they 
are an integral part of the fixed or movable 
surface. For all other child restraint systems and 
for a child restraint system with a fixed or 
movable surface which is being tested under the 
conditions of Test Configuration I, attach all 
appropriate child restraint belts and tighten them 
as specified in S6.1.2.4. Attach all appropriate 
vehicle belts and tighten them as specified in 
S6. 1.2.2. Position each movable surface in ac- 
cordance with the manufacturer's instructions 
provided in accordance with S5.6.1 or S5.6.2. 

(d) After the steps specified in paragraph (c) 
of this section, rotate each dummy limb down- 
wards in the plane parallel to the dummy's mid- 
sagittal plane until the limb contacts a surface of 
the child restraint system or the standard seat I 
assembly in the case of an add-on system, or the \ 
specific vehicle shell or specific vehicle in the case 



PART571;S213-PRE64 



of a built-in system, as appropriate. Position the 
limbs, if necessary, so that limb placement does 
not inhibit torso or head movement in tests con- 
ducted under S6. 

S6. 1.2.3.2 of Jt9 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S6. 1.2.3.2 When placing the 6-month- old dummy 
in add-on or built-in child restraint systems other 
than car beds, position the test dummy according 
to the instructions for child positioning provided 
with the system by the manufacturer in accordance 
vi'ith S5.6.1 or S5.6.2 while conforming to the 
following: 

(a) With the dummy in the supine position on a 
horizontal surface, and while preventing move- 
ment of the dummy torso by placing a hand on the 
center of the torso, rotate the dummy legs upward 
by lifting the feet until the legs contact the upper 
torso and the feet touch the head, and then slowly 
release the legs but do not return them to the flat 
surface. 

(b) Place the dummy in the child restraint 
system so that the back of the dummy torso 
contacts the back support surface of the system. 
For a child restraint system which is equipped 
with a fixed or movable surface described in 
S5.2.2.2, which is being tested under the conditions 
of Test Configuration II, do not attach any of the 
child restraint belts unless they are an integral 
part of the fixed or movable surface. For all other 
child restraint systems and for a child restraint 
system with a fixed or movable surface which is 
being tested under the conditions of Test Con- 
figuration I, attach all appropriate child restraint 
belts and tighten them as specified in S6.1.2.4. 
Attach all appropriate vehicle belts and tighten 
them as specified in S6. 1.2.2. Position each movable 
surface in accordance with the manufacturer's 
instructions provided in accordance with S5.6.1 or 
S5.6.2. If the dummy's head does not remain in the 
proper position, it shall be taped against the front 
of the seat back surface of the system by means of a 
single thickness of 1/4-inch-wide paper masking 
tape placed across the center of the dummy face. 

(c) Position the dummy arms vertically up- 
wards and then rotate each arm downward toward 
the dummy's lower body until the arm contacts a 
surface, of the child restraint system or the 
standard seat assembly in the case of an add-on 
child restraint system, or the specific vehicle shell 
or the specific vehicle in the case of a built-in child 
restraint system, ensuring that no arm is re- 
strained from movement in other than the down- 



ward direction, by any part of the system or the 
belts used to anchor the system to the standard 
seat assembly, the specific vehicle shell, or the 
specific vehicle. 

S6.1.2.6ofJt9 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
folloivs: 

S6. 1.2.6 For add-on child restraint systems, 
measure dummy excursion and determine con- 
formance with the requirements specified in S5.1 
as appropriate. For built-in child restraint 
systems, measure dummy knee excursion and 
determine conformance with the requirements 
specified in S5.1 as appropriate. 

S6.2.3 ofAQ CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S6.2.3 Pull the sling horizontally in the manner 
illustrated in Figure 4 and parallel to the center 
SORL of the standard seat assembly, in the case of 
an add-on child restraint system, or parallel to the 
longitudinal center line of either the specific 
vehicle shell or the specific vehicle, in the case of a 
built-in child restraint system, and apply a force 
of 20 pounds in the case of a system tested with a 
6-month-old dummy and 45 pounds in the case of a 
system tested with a 3-year-old dummy. 

S7.3 of Jt9 CFR 571.213 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S7.3 Standard test devices. 

(a) The standard test devices used in testing 
add-on child restraint systems under this standard 
are: 

(1) For testing for motor vehicle use, a standard 
seat assembly consisting of a simulated vehicle 
bench seat, with three seating positions, which is 
described in Drawing Package SAS-100-1000 
(consisting of drawings and a bill of materials); 
and 

(2) For testing for aircraft use, a standard seat 
assembly consisting of a representative aircraft 
passenger seat. 

(b) The standard test devices used in testing 
built-in child restraint systems under this standard 
are either a specific vehicle shell or a specific 
vehicle. 

Issued on January 15, 1988 



Diane K, Steed 
Administrator 

53F.R. 1783 
January 22, 1988 



PART 571;S213-PRE 65-66 



i 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 
SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 and PART 572 

Anthropomorphic Test Dummies— 3-Year-Old Child 

(Docket No. 89-13; Notice 2) 

RIN 2127-AB94 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends NHTSA's specifica- 
tions for the 3-year-old-child test dummy NHTSA 
uses to test child restraint systems. Specifications 
are provided for a new head which has a higher 
natural frequency response, and is therefore better 
suited for compliance testing than the present head 
assembly. In addition, generic specifications are set 
for two different types of accelerometers which may 
be used with the dummy. 

DATES: The effective date for making these amend- 
ments to the CFR is August 27, 1990. 

Until September 1, 1993, each 3-year-old-child test 
dummy NHTSA uses to test an add-on child re- 
straint will incorporate, at the manufacturer's op- 
tion, either the new head assembly specified in 
§572.16(aKl) or the old head assembly specified in 
§572.16(aX2). 

Effective September 1, 1993, each 3-year-old-child 
dummy NHTSA uses to test an add-on child re- 
straint will incorporate the new head assembly 
specified in §572.16(aXl). 

Beginning August 27, 1990, each 3-year-old-child 
dummy NHTSA uses to test a built-in child restraint 
incorporates the new head assembly specified in 
§572. 16(a)(1). 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background. On July 11, 1989, NHTSA published 
a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning 
changes to the agency's specifications for the 3- 
year-old-child test dummy (54 FR 29071). 

First, the agency proposed a new head assembly 
for the test dummy. The agency also proposed that, if 
the new specifications were adopted, dummies con- 
forming to them would be used by the agency when 
evaluating both add-on and built-in restraints. (A 
built-in child restraint is one that is an integral part 
of a vehicle.) 

This proposal was developed following the imple- 
mentation on January 22, 1988 of amendments to 
Standard No. 213 establishing performance and test 
criteria expressly applicable to built-in restraint 



systems. Prior to that date. Standard 213 specified 
performance and test criteria suitable for add-on 
child restraint systems only. (An add-on restraint is 
any portable child restraint system.) In tests of 
add-on systems, the test environment is a standard 
vehicle seat assembly to which the restraint is 
attached by a lap belt. During testing, the dummy's 
head does not contact a rigid surface which is not 
part of the child restraint system. 

During compliance testing of built-in restraint 
systems, the dummy's head may contact a rigid 
surface, because the performance of the built-in 
restraint in protecting the child is determined by 
testing the restraint in proximity to other parts of 
the vehicle interior, which may include rigid sur- 
faces. The current head of the 3-year-old-child 
dummy has a relatively low natural frequency re- 
sponse, which may cause it to give unreliable data 
when the head contacts a rigid surface. The agency 
believed there was an apparent need to adopt a head 
that has a natural frequency response (the frequency 
of a free vibration at which an elastic system starts 
to vibrate when impacted by a force) appropriate for 
measuring acceleration resulting from impact be- 
tween the dummy head and rigid surfaces. (Issues 
relating to the reliability and validity of the new 
head as a test device were thoroughly discussed in 
the NPRM and will not be repeated here.) 

Second, the agency proposed two different types of 
generically designated accelerometers based on fre- 
quency response characteristics and location specifi- 
cations within the dummy. Any accelerometer sys- 
tem conforming with these specifications could be 
used with the dummy. NHTSA proposed the generic 
accelerometer specifications because manufacture of 
the particular accelerometer model specified in Part 
572 has been discontinued, and because NHTSA 
tentatively concluded there was no necessity to 
specify another particular model for use in compli- 
ance testing. Any accelerometer that meets the 
proposed specifications, and is positioned in the test 
dummy at the specified reference points so that the 
seismic masses of each sensing element would be 



PART 571; S213-PRE 67 



aligned with the head and thoracic reference points, 
would give the same measurements as any other 
accelerometer with the equivalent impact response 
characteristics and positioning. NHTSA believed 
that generic accelerometer specifications would 
avoid difficulties associated with a particular accel- 
erometer model when the manufacture of that model 
is discontinued. 

Comments on the NPRM 

New head design 

NHTSA received six comments on the proposed 
changes. The University of Michigan (UM) strongly 
urged that the agency adopt the new head. The 
University said that UM has been using the new 
head in child restraint tests since the early 1980's, 
and because of the existing head's low natural 
frequency, would not consider returning to the use of 
the old design. Volvo Cars of North America also 
supported the proposed change to the new head, 
stating that "the change of material in the dummy 
head will avoid some of the interfering noise occur- 
ring in the old dummy head due to its low material 
frequency." 

General Motors Corporation (GM) submitted ini- 
tial and supplemental comments on the NPRM. In 
its initial comment, GM said it had yet to test the 
proposed dummy head, but expressed concern that 
"the 3-year-old-child dummy, with or without the 
new head, still lacks a reasonable level of impact 
response biofidelity." (GM's comment reflects the 
fact that, after NHTSA established specifications for 
the 3-year-old-child test dummy in 1979, GM peti- 
tioned the agency to reconsider whether the speci- 
fied dummy was an appropriate test device. NHTSA 
analyzed GM's concerns about the dummy and found 
them to be without merit. Accordingly, the agency 
denied the petition (45 FR 82265; December 15, 
1980).) GM did not provide any data or information 
in its initial comment to the NPRM that convinc- 
ingly established that NHTSA should refrain from 
using the 3-year-old-child test dummy to test child 
restraint systems. In its supplemental comment, GM 
stated that it tested the proposed head assembly and 
found that head accelerations met the proposed 
calibration levels when a light coat of a silicone 
lubricant was applied between the head skin and 
skull prior to the test. Applying a lubricant is 
recognized by the Society of Automotive Engineers 
(SAE) as an acceptable practice and is used by the 
industry to bring other Part 572 test dummies into 
calibration specifications. GM stated that it agreed 
with the proposed specification and use of the new 
head assembly on the 3-year-old-child test dummy. 

Ford supported the agency's objective of improving 
the testing capability of the 3-year-old-child dummy. 



but was concerned that the natural frequency of the 
proposed fiberglass head "still may have too low a 
natural frequency to eliminate ringing." Ford 
seemed to believe that the new head has a natural 
frequency "just above 1000 Hz," which would cause 
mechanical ringing of the head at or near that 
frequency in certain impacts. The commenter sug- 
gested that NHTSA consider developing a new 
dummy head with a structure of aluminum or mag- 
nesium, "to provide a natural frequency well above 
1000 Hz." 

Ford apparently was not aware that the natural 
frequency of the new head is 3,300 Hz, which is 3.3 
times higher than the nominal class 1,000 filter 
cut-off frequency referenced in §572.21 and specified 
by the SAE for head impact response measurements 
("Performance Measurements of Three- Year-Old- 
Child Test Dummy Heads, December 1983; Report 
No. DOT HS 806-742). That natural frequency is 
considerably higher than that of the current head 
(400 Hz). Because the adequacy of the new head has 
been established by NHTSA testing, and because no 
information has arisen showing problems with the 
new head, the agency believes the new dummy head 
is completely suitable for use in the 3-year-old child 
dummy. 

The NPRM proposed that NHTSA would continue 
testing add-on restraints with the present dummy 
head or the new head, at the manufacturer's option, 
for 3 years. The NPRM proposed that, after the 
3-year period, NHTSA would test all add-on child 
restraints with dummies incorporating the new head 
assembly. The agency explained in the NPRM that it 
sought to have, eventually, only one head assembly 
for the 3-year-old-child dummy, to preclude inadvert- 
ent use of the current head assembly in a compliance 
test of a built-in restraint. 

Ford requested that the agency permit indefinite 
use of the present dummy head, rather than limit 
such use to a 3-year period. Ford said that there is 
little risk that the wrong head would be mistakenly 
used, particularly if the new head is composed of 
aluminum or magnesium, materials unlike in ap- 
pearance to the current (urethane) dummy head. 

NHTSA disagrees with Ford that the agency's 
compliance procedures should permit the indefinite 
use of the present dummy head. Since the new head 
will be composed from fiberglass (and not the alumi- 
num and magnesium materials Ford suggested) and 
is outwardly identical to the current head assembly, 
it is important that the agency reduce the likelihood 
that the present head could be inadvertently used in 
a compliance test of a built-in restraint system. Such 
errors would represent a needless waste of time and 
resources. With respect to add-on restraints, those 
that pass a Standard 213 compliance test when 
tested with a dummy incorporating the existing 



PART 571; S213-PRE 68 



head should also pass when tested with a dummy 
using the new head. Thus, there is no apparent 
advantage to retaining the old head beyond the 3- 
year period. Further, test dummy heads, on average, 
must be replaced after approximately 3 years due to 
the wear from testing and the aging of the rubbers 
and plastics in the head. Thus, the 3-year transition 
period before use of the new head assembly is 
mandated should not impose any burdens on the 
dummy users. Testing facilities could continue using 
the current head assemblies during the 3-year tran- 
sition period and could purchase the new head 
assemblies when the current head assemblies must 
be replaced. 

Ford and GM highlighted sections of the proposed 
regulatory language where typographical or edito- 
rial corrections were appropriate. NHTSA has 
adopted these suggestions. In addition. Ford asked 
the agency to make it clear that, during the 3-year 
period when optional use of either head is permitted, 
NHTSA's compliance testing would be conducted 
using the type of dummy head that the add-on child 
restraint manufacturer chose to use in certifying its 
restraint system. NHTSA does not object to using the 
same type of head, and has revised the text of S7.2 of 
Standard 213 to specify that the type of head used in 
compliance tests dui'ing the 3-year period is at the 
manufacturer's option. 

Proposed specifications for the accelerometer 
All comments relating to the proposed adoption of 
generic specifications for the accelerometer were 
supportive of the proposal. Ford suggested minor 
changes to the regulatory language to clarify speci- 
fications or correct typographical errors. The agency 
agi-ees with these recommendations, and has 
adopted the generic specifications proposed in the 
NPRM, as revised by Ford's suggested changes. 

Effective date 

The effective date for making these amendments 
to the CFR is 30 days from the date of publication. 

Beginning 30 days after publication of the final 
rule, each 3-year-old-child test dummy NHTSA uses 
to test a built-in child restraint will be assembled 
with the new head assembly specified in 
§572.16(aHl). The higher natural frequency re- 
sponse of the new head assembly will ensure that 
the head acceleration measurements taken during 
testing of built-in child restraints are accurate and 
reliable. Because of the need for accurate and reli- 
able head acceleration measurements, the agency 
finds that this effective date of less than 180 days is 
in the public interest. 

For add-on restraints, the NPRM proposed that 
manufacturers would have the option of specifying 
the use of the current or new head assembly in 



NHTSA compliance testing, beginning 30 days after 
publication of the final rule, "until three years after 
publication of a final rule." Permitting optional use 
of the proposed head assembly beginning 30 days 
after publication will not impose any burdens on any 
party, and will further the public interest by allow- 
ing manufacturers to gain experience with the new 
head assembly. Thus, NHTSA again finds good cause 
for such an effective date. 

Although the NPRM did not identify the exact 
date 3 years after publication of a final rule from 
which use of the present head assembly in NHTSA's 
compliance tests will cease, such a date must be 
specified in Standard 213 so that all persons reading 
the standard can readily know how NHTSA conducts 
its testing. This final rule specifies this date as 
September 1, 1993. The agency has determined that 
this date is appropriate because it is approximately 
3 years after the date of anticipated issuance of this 
final rule, and consistent with the date the NPRM 
proposed. 

In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA amends 
49 CFR Parts 571 and 572 as follows: 

S7.2 of §571.213 is revised to read as follows: 

S7.2 Three-year-old-child dummy. A three-year-old- 
child dummy conforming to Subpart C of Part 572 of 
this chapter is used for testing a child restraint that is 
recommended by its manufacturer in accordance with 
S5.6 for use by children in a weight range that includes 
children weighing more than 20 pounds. 

(a) Built-in child restraints. When a three-year- 
old-child test dummy is used for testing a built-in 
child restraint, the dummy shall be assembled with 
the head assembly specified in §572.16(aXl). 

(b) Add-on child restraints. Until September 1, 
1993, when a three-year-old-child test dummy is 
used for testing an add-on child restraint, the 
dummy shall be assembled using, at the manufac- 
turer's option, either head assembly specified in 
§572. 16(a). 

Effective September 1, 1993, when a three-year- 
old-child dummy is used for testing an add-on child 
restraint, the dummy shall be assembled with the 
head assembly specified in §572.16(aKl). 



PART 572-ANTHROPOMORPHIC TEST DUMMIES 

1. The authority citation for Part 572 continues to 
read as follows: 

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407; delegation of 
authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 

Subpart C-3-Year-Old Child 

2. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of section 572.16 are 
revised to read as follows: 

§572.16 Head. 

(a) The head consists of the assembly designated 



PART 571; S213-PRE 69 



as SA 103C 010 on drawing no. SA 103C GDI, and 
conforms to either— 

(1) each item specified on drawing SA 103C 002(B), 
sheet 8; or 

(2) each item specified on drawing SA 103C 002, 
sheet 8. 

(b) When the head is impacted by a test probe 
specified in §572.21(aXl) at 7 fps, then the peak 
resultant acceleration measured at the location of 
the accelerometer mounted in the headform accord- 
ing to §572. 21(b) is not less than 95g and not more 
than 118g. 

(1) The recorded acceleration-time curve for this 
test is unimodal at or above the 50g level, and lies at 
or above that level for intervals: 

(i) in the case of the head assembly specified in 
paragraph (aXD of this section, not less than 1.3 
milliseconds and not more than 2.0 milliseconds; 

(ii) in the case of the head assembly specified in 
paragraph (aX2) of this section, not less than 2.0 
milliseconds and not more than 3.0 milliseconds. 

(2) The lateral acceleration vector does not exceed 
7g. 



Section 572.17(a) is revised to read as follows: 

§572.17 Neck. 

(aXl) The neck for use with the head assembly 
described in §572.16(aXl) consists of the assembly 
designated as SA 103C 020 on drawing No. SA 103C 
001, and conforms to each item specified on drawing 
No. SA 103C 002(B), sheet 9. 

(2) The neck for use with the head assembly 
described in §572.16(aX2) consists of the assembly 
designated as SA 103C 020 on drawing No. SA 103C 
001, and conforms to each item specified on drawing 
No. SA 103C 002, sheet 9. 



Section 572.21 is amended by revising paragraphs 
(a), (b), and (c) to read as follows: 

§572.21 Test conditions and instrumentation. 

(aXD The test probe used for head and thoracic 
impact tests is a cylinder 3 inches in diameter, 13.8 
inches long, and weighing 10 lbs., 6 ozs. Its impact- 
ing end has a flat right face that is rigid and that has 
an edge radius of 0.5 inches. 

(2) The head and thorax assembly may be instru- 
mented with a Type A or Type C accelerometer. 

(i) Type A accelerometer is defined in drawing 
SA-572 SI. 

(ii) Type C accelerometer is defined in drawing 
SA-572 S2. 

(b) Head Accelerometers. Install one of the triaxial 



accelerometers specified in §572.2 l(aX2) on a 
mounting block located on the horizontal transverse 
bulkhead as shown in the drawings subreferenced ^ 
under assembly SA 103C 010 so that the seismic ■ 
mass centers of each sensing element are positioned 
as specified in this paragraph, relative to the head 
accelerometer reference point located at the intersec- 
tion of a line connecting the longitudinal centerlines 
of the transfer pins in the side of the dummy head 
with the midsagittal plane of the dummy head. 

(1) The sensing elements of the Type C triaxial 
accelerometer are aligned as follows: 

(i) Align one sensitive axis parallel to the vertical 
bulkhead and coincident with the midsagittal plane, 
with the seismic mass center located 0.2 inches 
dorsal to, and 0.1 inches inferior to the head accel- 
erometer reference point. 

(ii) Align the second sensitive axis with the hori- 
zontal plane, perpendicular to the midsagittal plane, 
with the seismic mass center located 0.1 inches 
inferior, 0.4 inches to the right of, and 0.9 inches 
dorsal to the head accelerometer reference point. 

(iii) Align the third sensitive axis so that it is 
parallel to the midsagittal and horizontal planes, 
with the seismic mass center located 0.1 inches 
inferior to, 0.6 inches dorsal to, and 0.4 inches to the 
right of the head accelerometer reference point. 

(iv) All seismic mass centers are positioned with 
+ 0.05 inches of the specified locations. S 

(2) The sensing elements of the Type A triaxial " 
accelerometer are aligned as follows: 

(i) Align one sensitive axis parallel to the vertical 
bulkhead and coincident with midsagittal planes, 
with the seismic mass center located from 0.2 to 0.47 
inches dorsal to, from 0.01 inches inferior to 0.21 
inches superior, and from 0.0 to 0.17 inches left of 
the head accelerometer reference point. 

(ii) Align the second sensitive axis with the hori- 
zontal plane, perpendicular to the midsagittal plane, 
with the seismic mass center located 0.1 to 0.13 
inches inferior to, 0.17 to 0.4 inches to the right of, 
and 0.47 to 0.9 inches dorsal of the head accelerom- 
eter reference point. 

(iii) Align the third sensitive axis so that it is 
parallel to the midsagittal and horizontal planes, 
with the seismic mass center located 0.1 to 0.13 
inches inferior to, 0.6 to 0.81 inches dorsal to, and 
from 0.17 inches left to 0.4 inches right of the head 
accelerometer reference point. 

(c) Thorax Accelerometers. Install one of the triax- 
ial accelerometers specified in §572.21(aX2) on a 
mounting plate attached to the vertical transverse 
bulkhead shown in the drawing subreferenced under 
assembly No. SA 103C 030 in drawing SA 103C 001, . 

so that the seismic mass centers of each sensing ] 
element are positioned as specified in this para- 
graph, relative to the thorax accelerometer reference 



PART 571; S213-PRE 70 



point located in the midsagittal plane 3 inches above 
the top surface of the lumbar spine, and 0.3 inches 
dorsal to the accelerometer mounting plate surface. 

(1) The sensing elements of the Type C triaxial 
accelerometer are aligned as follows: 

(i) Align one sensitive axis parallel to the vertical 
bulkhead and midsagittal planes, with the seismic 
mass center located 0.2 inches to the left of, 0.1 
inches inferior to, and 0.2 inches ventral to the 
thorax accelerometer reference point. 

(ii) Align the second sensitive axis so that it is in 
the horizontal transverse plane, and perpendicular 
to the midsagittal plane, with the seismic mass 
center located 0.2 inches to the right of, 0.1 inches 
inferior to, and 0.2 inches ventral to the thorax 
accelerometer reference point. 

tiii) Align the third sensitive axis so that it is 
parallel to the midsagittal and horizontal planes, 
with the seismic mass center located 0.2 inches 
superior to, 0.5 inches to the right of, and 0.1 inches 
ventral to the thorax accelerometer reference points. 

(iv) All seismic mass centers shall be positioned 
within + 0.05 inches of the specified locations. 

(2) The sensing elements of the Type A triaxial 
accelerometer are aligned as follows: 

(i) Align one sensitive axis parallel to the vertical 
bulkhead and midsagittal planes, with the seismic 



mass center located from 0.2 inches left to 0.28 
inches right, from 0.5 to 0.15 inches inferior to, and 
from 0.15 to 0.25 inches ventral of the thorax accel- 
erometer reference point. 

(ii) Align the second sensitive axis so that it is in 
the horizontal transverse plane and perpendicular to 
the midsagittal plane, with the seismic mass center 
located from 0.06 inches left to 0.2 inches right of, 
from 0.1 inches inferior to 0.24 inches superior, and 
0.15 to 0.25 inches ventral to the thorax accelerom- 
eter reference point. 

(iii) Align the third sensitive axis so that it is 
parallel to the midsagittal and horizontal planes, 
with the seismic mass center located 0.15 to 0.25 
inches superior to, 0.28 to 0.5 inches to the right of, 
and from 0.1 inches ventral to 0.19 inches dorsal to 
the thorax accelerometer reference point. 

Issued on July 20, 1990. 



Jerry Ralph Curry 
Administrator 

55 FR 30465 
July 26, 1990 



PART 571; S213-PRE 71-72 



i 



i 



t 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 

SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 
Child Restraint Systems 

(Docket No. 74-09; Notice 26) 
RIN: 2127-AD46 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule amends Standard 213, Child 
Restraint Systems, to require manufacturers of 
child restraints to provide a postage paid registra- 
tion fomi with each seat. The rule also amends the 
standard to require manufacturers to provide 
information to purchasers about the importance of 
registering the restraint, as vv'ell as information 
necessary to enable subsequent owners to register 
the restraint. In addition to amending Standard 
213. this rule adds a new Part 588 in title 49, 
CFR, that requires manufacturers to keep records 
of the names and addresses of persons who have 
returned a registration form. 

These requirements will improve the effective- 
ness of manufacturer campaigns to recall child 
restraints that contain a safety-related defect or 
fail to conform to Standard 213 by requiring 
manufacturers to take steps that will increase their 
ability to inform owners of particular child 
restraints about defects or noncompliances in 
those restraints and by encouraging child restraint 
owners to register their restraints. The require- 
ments will also assist NHTSA in determining 
whether a child safety seat manufacturer has com- 
plied with its notification responsibilities estab- 
lished by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act. 

This rulemaking proceeding commenced in 
response to a December 1989 petition for rule- 
making from the Center for Auto Safety and 
Consumer Action of San Francisco. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The amendment is effective 
March 9. 1993. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

General Introduction 
This rule amends Standard 213 to establish a 
registration program for child restraint systems. 



The rule requires manufacturers to provide a 
standardized, postage-paid registration form with 
each restraint system. Manufacturers of built-in 
restraints installed in new vehicles are excluded 
from the requirement because the manufacturers 
are able to identify the vehicle owners through 
motor vehicle registration files and directly notify 
them of a recall concerning the built-in restraints. 

The rule standardizes the text and layout of the 
registration form to increase the likelihood that a 
purchaser will register the restraint. On each 
form, manufacturers must preprint their return 
address, along with information identifying the 
model name or number of the restraint to which 
the form is attached. The form must be attached 
to the restraint to ensure that a purchaser will 
notice the form. 

This rule also requires manufacturers to keep 
records of the names and addresses of persons 
who have returned a registration form. The manu- 
facturers must maintain the record for at least six 
years from the date of manufacture of the seat. 

NHTSA proposed the registration program in a 
notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published 
on February 19, 1991 (56 FR 6603). Today's rule 
differs from the NPRM in various respects. The 
registration form is simplified. The labeling on 
the restraint must include both an address and a 
telephone number for the manufacturer. Cost esti- 
mates are slightly higher. The recordkeeping 
requirement of six years from the restraint's date 
of manufacture is two years less than was pro- 
posed. These and other changes are discussed fur- 
ther below. 

This rule is intended to improve the percentage 
of recalled restraints that are fixed in a recall 
campaign for a noncompliance or defect. During 
1981-1991, almost 18 million child restraints were 
recalled. During this period, about 13 percent of 
the child restraints involved in completed recall 
campaigns were reported as "campaigned units." 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-73 



Campaigned units refer to those child restraints 
that were reported remedied as well as those 
restraints either removed from sale to the public 
or removed from use by the public. (During 1981- 
1989, approximately 6 million restraints were 
recalled. About 10.5 percent of the restraints 
involved in completed recall campaigns were 
reported as campaigned units during this period. 
During 1990-1991. almost 12 million child 
restraints were recalled. Only about 1 1 percent of 
the restraints involved in completed recall cam- 
paigns were reported as campaigned during this 
period.) In general, this indicates that the child 
restraint campaign rate is considerably lower than 
the campaign rate for motor vehicles (60.5 per- 
cent for 1981-1991). 

(At the time of the NPRM, the child restraint 
average campaign completion rate was 22 percent. 
That rate reflected the number of seats that had 
been campaigned at the time of the NPRM. Dur- 
ing the period 1990-1991, the average campaign 
completion rate increased to about 27 percent.) It 
should be noted that, even though the average 
campaign completion rate averaged about 27 per- 
cent during 1990-1991, for all campaigns in 
aggregate only about 1 1 percent of the restraints 
involved in completed recall campaigns were 
reported as campaigned. 

The low response rate for child restraints does 
not seem a consequence of a lack of interest in 
recalls on the part of the owners. The public 
responded overwhelmingly to a December 1989 
press conference by CAS on child seat recalls by 
calling NHTSA. In the eight months following 
that press conference, NHTSA's Auto Safety Hot- 
line received over 30,000 calls from concerned 
parents asking about recalls and the safety of 
child seats. This intense interest in child safety 
indicates that many owners are highly motivated 
and would return a recalled seat for a remedy, if 
they knew it had been recalled. Stated differently, 
many owners might not have had the problem 
remedied because notification of the recall failed 
to reach them. 

NHTSA proposed the registration program to 
improve the dissemination of the recall informa- 
tion directly to individual owners. In the past, 
efforts to improve notice of a recall focused on 
better disseminating the information indirectly. 
i.e., to the general public. The agency decided to 
change its focus to individual owners. If owners 



are directly notified that their seat is recalled, the 
response rate should increase. 

Pursuant to a contract with the agency. 
National Analysts conducted a study of consum- 
ers" attitudes about the proposed registration pro- 
gram and other child safety issues during the time 
that the agency was developinq the NPRM. A 
copy of the February 1991 report has been avail- 
able in the docket. The researchers conducted four 
group interviews ("focus groups"). Two groups 
were interviewed in Orange, California and the 
other two in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 
groups were comprised of people who acquired a 
child restraint new and who use the restraint with 
their child at least once a week. The participants 
were asked to evaluate five different registration 
forms, three of which corresponded exactly to the 
NPRM's alternative Figure 9a, options one 
through three. The alternatives differed in how 
they presented a motivational message for the 
registration form. 

National Analysts reported that participants in 
all four groups were unanimous in their support 
for a registration program. National Analysts con- 
cluded that, based on the findings from the study, 
"the great majority of child safety seat buyers are 
likely to appreciate and respond to a recall reg- 
istration program." The researchers reported that: 

Participants also indicated that they would be 
most likely to return a pre-addressed, postage-pre- 
paid card with an uncluttered graphic design that 
clearly and succinctly communicates the benefits 
of recall registration, differentiates itself from a 
warranty registration card, and requires minimal 
time and effort on the participant's part. "Child 
Safety Seat Registration: The Consumer View," 
National Analysts, February 1991. 

• Comments on the proposal 
The agency received 22 comments on the 
NPRM, from manufacturers, researchers, church 
and consumer groups, state governments and pri- 
vate individuals. The overwhelming majority of 
the commenters supported a registration program. 
With the exceptions discussed below, the com- 
ments generally consisted of specific suggestions 
regarding the format and language of the form, 
the labeling on the restraint, and the record- 
keeping part of the rule. Evenflo, Cosco and 
Chrysler Corporation (a manufacturer of built-in 
systems) expressed concerns about the effective- 
ness of registration programs. Evenflo and Cosco 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-74 



also had cost concerns, which will be discussed in 
the section on "Costs." 

Eventlo believed that a registration program 
would not be effective. Eventlo indicated that a 
registration program for child restraints can be 
compared to the "mandatory" registration 
requirements that Congress in 1982 specifically 
provided that the agency could not apply to 
independent tire dealers. See, 158(b) of the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 
1966. The mandatory registration program had 
required all tire dealers, including independent 
dealers, to obtain and send specified information 
(i.e., the purchaser's name and address, the 
dealer's name and address, and the identification 
numbers of the tires) to the tire manufacturer. 
("Independent tire dealers" means tire dealers 
and distributors whose businesses are not owned 
or controlled by a tire manufacturer or brand 
name owner.) 

Compliance with the mandatory registration 
was uneven. While virtually all tires on new 
vehicles were registered, about half of all replace- 
ment tires were registered. Independent dealers 
had registered only 20 percent of the requirement 
tires they sold. 

With the goals of improving cne registration 
rate for tires sold by independent dealers and less- 
ening the burden on the dealers. Congress prohib- 
ited NHTSA from requiring those dealers to com- 
ply with the mandatory registration program. In 
place of the mandatory program for the dealers. 
Congress directed NHTSA to establish a vol- 
untary tire registration process. In the voluntary 
process, which is in effect today, the independent 
tire dealer furnishes a standardized registration 
form to each purchaser after the dealer has first 
filled in the tire identification number on the 
form. Purchasers wishing to register their tire fill 
in their name and address on the form and mail 
the completed form to the tire manufacturer. The 
form's postage is paid by the purchaser. The reg- 
istration rate for the voluntary tire registration 
program is about 1 1 percent. 

In response to Evenflo, NHTSA disagrees that 
the proposed registration process for child 
restraints is comparable to the mandatory program 
that had applied to independent tire dealers. In 
contrast, the proposed child restraint program has 
some similarities to the voluntary tire registration 
program that Congress directed NHTSA to adopt 
for the independent dealers. They are similar 



because in both cases, the semi-completed reg- 
istration form is provided to the purchaser. Per- 
sons wishing to register their product may then do 
so by filling in their name and address and mail- 
ing the completed form to the restraint manufac- 
turer. 

However, even though similarities would exist 
between the two programs, NHTSA does not 
believe that the voluntary tire program is a good 
surrogate for what might happen in the child 
restraint program. First, in the child registration 
program: (a) every child restraint will be provided 
with a registration form attached to it; and (b) 
every registration form will describe to purchasers 
why the form should be filled and returned to the 
child restraint manufacturer. As previously men- 
tioned, even though registration rates for 
independent tire dealers was about 1 1 percent, a 
consumer survey indicated that only 22 percent of 
these dealers' customers had received registration 
forms from their dealers, and that over 80 percent 
of the independent dealers' customers did not 
remember the dealer explaining the reasons why 
the registration form should be returned to the 
manufacturer. Second, consumers seem to be far 
more likely to be concerned with child safety than 
with tires, and therefore, they are more apt to fill 
in a registration form on child restraints than on 
tires. Third, the child restraint registration form is 
postage paid, a feature that the National Analysts 
study showed should have a positive effect on 
registration rates. Other information also shows 
the positive effect of providing the postage. 
According to information from the Consumer 
Product Safety Commission, warranty cards are 
returned for chain saws at a rate of 20 to 30 per- 
cent without postage paid; 40 percent with post- 
age paid. Because of these differences, NHTSA 
does not believe the voluntary tire registration 
program is a good surrogate for what might hap- 
pen in the child registration program. 

Several commenters said that the registration 
process would be more effective if it involved 
more the retailer who sells the restraint to the 
purchaser. The CAS suggested that the process 
should "require consumers to register the child 
restraint at time of purchase and as a condition of 
the sale." The Coalition for Consumer Health and 
Safety said that the registration form should be 
"returned to the retailer at the point of sale, 
instead of enclosed with the seat to be mailed in 
by the consumer." Advocates for Highway and 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-75 



Auto Safety also believed that the form should be 
completed by the consumer with the assistance of 
the retailer at the time of purchase. 

The NPRM explained why the agency did not 
propose a seller registration process. The pre- 
amble stated: 

In deciding whether to propose mandating 
registration by sellers or a lesser alternative, the 
agency was mindful that the Vehicle Safety Act 
does not provide NHTSA with explicit authority 
to require mandatory registration of child safety 
seats — i.e., to require sellers to register all seat 
purchases. Because of these concerns, and 
because child safety seats are sold to the public 
through a complex distribution system involving 
the manufacturer, major warehouse distributors, 
local distributors, and a wide variety of retail out- 
lets, NHTSA concluded that a registration pro- 
gram for seats would have a greater likelihood of 
success in actual practice if the responsibility for 
registering were placed primarily on the manufac- 
turer (to provide the card and registration 
information) and the first owner (to fill out the 
card and mail it). 56 FR at 6604. 

NHTSA continues to believe that mandatory 
registration would be undesirable for the reasons 
stated in the NPRM. Further, a comparison can be 
made to the tire registration program. Congress 
found mandatory tire registration to be overly 
burdensome for independent businesses. The 
manufacture, distribution and sale of child seats is 
accomplished through a complex distribution sys- 
tem involving numerous retail outlets, large and 
small. A mandatory registration program could 
impose substantial burdens on these retailers. 

Chrysler expressed concerns about the need for 
registration. Chrysler stated, "we do question the 
need for and value of the proposed registration 
requirements, given that the agency's estimate for 
card return rate is about 20 to 40 percent, and no 
estimate is offered for the probable recall 
response rate." Chrysler also stated that, because 
the card return rate might be no higher than 20 
to 40 percent, "the manufacturer should be 
allowed the flexibility to determine for each 
instance how owners are to be notified, taking 
into account the nature of the particular defect or 
cause of noncompliance." The agency does not 
have information that would indicate the potential 
reduction in injuries or fatalities resulting from a 
registration requirement. The NPRM requested 
comments about instances where a child was 



injured in a safety seat that had been recalled by 
the manufacturer, but not fixed before the 
accident. No information was provided. Neverthe- 
less, the agency believes there is a need for reg- 
istration, to improve the notice end of a recall 
campaign. Today's registration requirements 
standardize the form to increase the likelihood 
that the purchaser will register. Today's require- 
ments will increase the likelihood that the reg- 
istrant will hear of a recall and realize that the 
recall pertains to the seat. These requirements 
address the problems referred to by Safety Belt 
Safe U.S.A. in its comment: "the vast majority of 
safety seat owners either do not learn of the 
recall/repair message; or.. .do not realize that pub- 
licized recall campaigns apply to them." These 
problems may have kept the recall response rate 
low. 

Several factors might work to optimize the reg- 
istration rate for the child restraint program. First 
of all, the public concern for child safety should 
have a decidedly positive effect on the return rate. 
Also, the child restraint registration form is 
conspicuous to the purchaser and is postage paid, 
features that should have a positive effect on reg- 
istration rates. 

With regard to flexibility, Chrysler implied that 
the registration program would obviate the need 
for public notice of a recall. NHTSA disagrees. 
Section 153(c)(3) of the Safety Act authorizes 
NHTSA to require the notification to be provided 
to known purchasers of the child restraint and to 
the general public. The agency anticipates that it 
would be appropriate to require public notice of 
the recall, in addition to direct notification of reg- 
istrants, to ensure that notice is provided to the 
extent possible to owners who did not register, or 
to those whose address on registration records is 
not current or complete. 

Cosco also had concerns about the program's 
effectiveness. Cosco said that the effectiveness of 
registration is lessened because "a significant 
number of restraints are passed down from family 
to family, sold in garage sales, etc." 

NHTSA proposed the registration program 
keeping in mind that child restraints are fre- 
quently acquired "secondhand," as Cosco stated. 
To address that situation, the agency proposed 
labeling requirements to inform secondhand own- 
ers how to register with the manufacturer. When 
the secondhand owners have registered, they can 
be directly notified by the manufacturer if the 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-76 



restraint is recalled. Thus, the purpose of the reg- 
istration program would be fulfilled for second- 

k hand owners through the labeling provisions. 

' The wording of the exclusion of built-in 

restraints has been slightly changed from the pro- 
posal. The proposal excluded ""a built-in child 
restraint system installed in a vehicle by the 
vehicle manufacturer." The rule excludes a "fac- 
tory-installed built-in child restraint system" from 
the registration requirements, and defines the tenn 
in S4 of Standard 213 as "a built-in child 
restraint system that was installed in a motor 
vehicle at the time of its delivery to a dealer or 
distributor for distribution." The change from the 
NPRM is intended only to simplify the wording 
of the requirements portion of the standard. 

1. Standardized Recfistration Form. 

The NPRM proposed requirements to increase 
the likelihood that the purchaser will notice the 
form, fill it in and mail it. 

Attached form. The NPRM proposed that the 
form be attached to a "contactable surface" (the 
term is defined in S4) of the restraint so that the 
purchaser must, as a practical matter, notice and 
handle the form after purchasing the restraint and 
I before putting it into use. 

Several commenters addressed the proposal that 
the form be attached to a contactable surface. 
Evenflo said that "the location of the forms 
within the packaging or upon the product does 
not increase the likelihood of registration. Rather, 
it turns on the education of the consumer, their 
spare time and their ready access to the U.S. 
mail." In contrast. Safety Belt Safe said having 
the form be attached so that the purchaser must 
actively detach it will make it less likely that the 
form will be lost. 

National Analysts found that respondents in the 
focus group study indicated that seeing and han- 
dling the card are important to maximize registra- 
tion rates: 

There is also strong support for the registra- 
tion card's being attached to the seat in such a 
way that it cannot be used without first removing 
the card. It is thought particularly important for 
the card to be packaged separately from instruc- 
tions, warranties and other material enclosed with 
the CSS [child safety seat). Suggestions include 
V directly attaching the card to the seat liner — 
' although some question whether an adhesive 
tacky enough to securely attach to the seat would 



not leave the seat sticky — or attaching it by 
means of a plastic tie, similar to those used to 
attach price tags to clothes in department stores. 

"Make it so you can't rip it off but have to 
use scissors because then you'll read it." 

[Participant's quotation emphasized in text.] 
(Id. at 29) 

This rule adopts the requirement that the form 
must be attached to the child restraint. The 
National Analysts study indicates that the require- 
ment will improve the likelihood that the form 
will be noticed and read by the purchaser. How- 
ever, the rule permits the form to be attached to 
more surfaces than had been proposed. Under the 
NPRM, the only permissible surfaces were 
"contactable surfaces," i.e., surfaces contactable 
by a dummy's head or torso during a compliance 
test. Under the final rule, the form may be 
attached to any surface of the restraint that con- 
tacts any portion of the dummy when the dummy 
is positioned in the system in accordance with 
S6.1.2 of Standard 213. This change from the 
NPRM is made to allow more flexibility in 
selectinq a location for attaching the form. 

Under a contactable surfaces requirement, the 
form would have had to be attached to surfaces 
only contactable by a dummy's head or torso, 
since "contactable surface" in S4 is limited to 
head and torso contacts. Thus, attaching the form 
to parts of the seat cushion that contact the dum- 
my's thighs would not have been allowed. Such 
a prohibition does not appear warranted, since 
attaching the form to surfaces other than 
"contactable" ones meets the goal of the require- 
ment that the purchaser will notice and handle the 
form when detaching it. 

Te.xt and format. The NPRM sought to 
standardize the text and format of the registration 
form to increase the likelihood that the purchaser 
will fill it in. The agency proposed a two-sided, 
two-part form that consisted of a motivational 
message and boxed statement (top part) and a 
postcard that the purchaser would fill in and mail 
(bottom part). NHTSA proposed the two-part 
form to ensure that the information on the form 
can be easily read, and that the allotted space for 
the purchaser's name and address would be suffi- 
ciently large to permit the easy, legible recording 
of all the necessary information. 

Several commenters questioned the need to 
standardize the form. Cosco said that each manu- 



FART 571; S 213— PRE-77 



facturer may have differing needs for the forms, 
which calls for flexibility. Ford Motor Company 
said that manufacturers should be allowed to use 
either a fold-over card or a two-part form, and 
that details of the proposed form should be 
optional to allow manufacturers the flexibility to 
design a form that would better facilitate the 
recording of the information from registrants. 

In contrast. Safety Belt Safe said that a defi- 
nite, prescribed fonnat is desirable because it 
"fits with the public image of important, official 
forms," which will encourage people to register. 

NHTSA is requiring the form to be standard- 
ized to increase the likelihood that a purchaser 
will register. The National Analysts study showed 
that essentially the same text and format as those 
adopted in this rule were effective in presenting 
the necessary information legibly and eliciting a 
favorable response from the purchaser, factors 
that are needed to maximize registration rates. 

The focus groups widely and enthusiastically 
accepted the text and format of the parts of the 
form that did not vary among the proposed 
options (Id. at 10-14). (The reaction to the part of 
the form that varied is also discussed below.) 
National Analysts found that the participants 
unanimously praised the boxed statement (top part 
of proposed Figure 9b — the address side of the 
form). "The boxed message... clearly and effec- 
tively communicates what are perceived to be the 
two most critical messages contained on the reg- 
istration cards: That it is important.. .[and] [t]hat 
this is a recall registration, not a warranty card." 
Id. at 10. 

The part of the form that the purchaser fills in 
(bottom part of proposed figure 9a. the product 
identification number and purchaser information 
side) was found to draw — 

a particularly positive response because it 
requires minimal information and effort to com- 
plete. ..CSS owners praise the fact that they are 
only required to fill in their name and 
address. ...There is a strong preference to have the 
serial, model number and manufacturing date 
preprinted on the card as indicated on the proto- 
types. Nearly all want the numbers printed on the 
card. They feel that it saves them the trouble of 
looking-and that any marginal addition of time 
and effort serves as a potential barrier to comple- 
tion and return. Id. at 12-14. 



The portion of the form indicating that the reg- 
istration postcard is prestamped and preaddressed 
"is considered essential... Reaction to this was 
uniformly enthusiastic." Id. at 12. 

Because the focus groups' response to the 
text and fomiat of the unvarying parts of the pro- 
posed form was extremely positive, NHTSA is 
requiring use of the text and format. Prescribing 
the text and format has the added benefit of 
ensuring that commercial matters, such as market- 
ing information, are excluded from the form. (In 
addition, the regulatory text expressly prohibits 
such information. See. S5.8(c).) If marketing 
information were allowed to be placed on the 
form, such information might cause purchasers to 
misidentify the registration form as a warranty 
card, which the agency seeks to avoid in view of 
National Analysts' finding that participants gen- 
erally had negative feelings toward warranty reg- 
istrations (Id. at 14). 

The mle prescribes the text and format for the 
motivational message, the part of the form that 
varied among the proposed options. National 
Analysts found that it is possible for the text and 
format of the message to elicit a negative 
response from the purchaser. The text for option 
two was widely criticized as appearing shallow or 
manipulative. Id. at 19. The text for option three 
was strongly criticized for its wording, tone and 
format. Focus group participants said that they 
would not read option three's message because of 
their dislike for the card. Id. at 20-22. These find- 
ings lead NHTSA to conclude that the text and 
format and text for the message must be pre- 
scribed so that the message itself does not 
discourage purchasers from registering. 

The motivational message has elements that 
received general support in the National Analysts 
study. Id. at 28. The text is based on option 1, 
which received the most positive response in the 
focus group testing. Id. at 15. However, the focus 
groups found the text style of option 1 too hard 
to read. They preferred a bold print, and that the 
text be arranged in more of the "bullet" style of 
option 2. The agency has revised the fonnat in 
accordance with those preferences. 

The motivational message adopted today was 
suggested by National Analysts in its February 
1991 report. National Analysts made the sugges- 
tion after evaluating the reaction of the focus 
groups to the messages proposed as options in the 
NPRM. Contrary to one commenter's belief. 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-78 



NHTSA did not receive National Analysts' 
suggestion for the '■optimar' card until after the 
NPRM was developed. For that reason, the opti- 
mal card was not among those proposed in the 
NPRM. However. NHTSA placed the National 
Analysts report in the public docket when the 
NPRM was published, to make the card and the 
report publicly available for review. See item 
number three in the NPRM docket, 74-09-N20. 

One commenter suggested that the card should 
have a sentence in Spanish that directs the reader 
to a resource for a translated version of the reg- 
istration form. The effect of such a requirement 
would be to require manufacturers to have forms 
available in Spanish. The burden of such a 
requirement on manufacturers does not appear 
warranted, for the reasons discussed in the agen- 
cy's November 20, 1990 denial of Texas's peti- 
tion for rulemaking on requirinq Spanish instruc- 
tions for child restraints. 55 FR 48262. 

The focus group study showed that participants 
reacted favorably to the idea of being assured by 
the manufacturer that their names would not be 
placed on a mailing list if they registered their 
restraints. Although the agency is not restricting 
use of the names, it expects that manufacturers 
will respect owners' preferences that their names 
be kept separate from other customer lists. 

This rule specifies a minimum size for the form 
so that the part to be returned to the manufacturer 
would be mailable as a postcard. That part of the 
form. i.e.. the postcard part, and the part of the 
form to which the postcard is attached must both 
be not less than 3 1/2 by 5 inches, and have a 
thickness of not less than 0.007 inches and not 
more than 0.0095 inches. These dimensions are 
taken from postal regulations for cards mailable 
without envelopes under first class postage. 

2. LMheling requirements. 

The NPRM proposed requirements to enable 
owners of secondhand restraints to register. The 
NPRM proposed that each restraint (other than 
factory-installed built-in ones) must be perma- 
nently labeled with information about the impor- 
tance of registration, and instructions for tele- 
phoning or mailing the necessary registration 
information to the manufacturer. In addition, the 
labeling would have to include information about 
NHTSA's Auto Safety Hotline. The proposal also 
included requirements that the registration 



information be provided in the printed instructions 
that accompany the restraint. 

Several commenters said that the proposed 
labeling is too long for the limited space available 
on the restraint, or has words that imply that the 
restraint is unsafe. NHTSA has shortened and 
revised the message in response to those com- 
ments. Some commenters suggested a new text 
and format and other changes (e.g., using a tri- 
angular warning symbol) that they believed would 
more effectively urge the purchaser to register. 
The agency reviewed the suggestions, but could 
not conclude that the suggestions improved what 
had been proposed, tested in the focus groups and 
revised for this rule. 

Fisher Price said that labeling the NHTSA Hot- 
line number is unnecessary since the owner can 
contact the manufacturer about recalls. The 
agency disagrees. The Hotline number is nec- 
essary to increase the public's awareness of that 
recall information resource. Also, consumer com- 
plaints to the Hotline have historically provided 
NHTSA an important source of data on safety- 
related defects. For that reason, the agency 
requires vehicle manufacturers to include the Hot- 
line in the vehicle owner's manual. See 49 CFR 
Part 575. NHTSA is requiring the Hotline number 
on each child restraint to ensure that the Hotline 
can be readily used by each owner, even persons 
owning secondhand restraints that are missing the 
instructions. 

This rule also requires manufacturers to provide 
a mailing address and telephone number on the 
label. The NPRM proposed either an address or 
telephone number, but several commenters said 
that both should be required to enable the owner 
to contact the manufacturer in more than one 
way. The CAS said that two companies (Virso/ 
Pride-Trimble and Century) recently changed their 
toll-free telephone numbers which made it more 
difficult for owners to contact the companies. 
CAS stated, "Requiring both company address 
and telephone number will help consumers get the 
information they need." NHTSA is requiring both 
an address and telephone number to make it 
easier for a person to register. 

Readers should note that Standard 213's label- 
ing requirements are further amended by a final 
rule published elsewhere in today's edition of the 
Federal Register. That rulemaking relates to a 
warning label requirement in the standard. In 
addition, NHTSA published an NPRM to amend 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-79 



certain labeling and other requirements for built- 
in restraint systems. 57 FR 870; January 9, 1992. 
Any amendments that might ultimately be 
adopted based on the January 1992 notice may 
modify existing labeling requirements, including 
the requirements adopted today. 

3. Recordkeeping. 

This rule establishes a new Part 588 in title 49, 
CFR, to require manufacturers to establish a 
record of registrants and maintain this record for 
at least six years from the date of manufacture of 
the seat. The record includes the name and mail- 
ing address of each registrant, and the model 
name or number and date of manufacture (month, 
year) of the restraint. 

The notice proposed an eight year period, but 
comments were requested on whether a shorter 
period, e.g., six years, should be required. Com- 
menters were sharply divided about the record- 
keeping requirement. Commenters suggested a 
length of recordkeeping ranging from four to 10 
years. 

The agency is adopting a six year requirement 
because NHTSA's records indicate that all 
restraints recalled to date were recalled within six 
years of the production date of the seat. (As 
stated above, during 1981-1991, almost 18 million 
child restraints were recalled. The average length 
of time between date of production and date of 
recall was about 28 months.) Some commenters 
said that a 10 year requirement is warranted 
because restraints more than 10 years old are still 
being used. NHTSA does not agree that those 
restraints, relatively few in number, justify record- 
keeping for longer than six years, given the aver- 
age age of recalled child restraints. NHTSA is 
concerned that a period longer than six years 
could impose an unwarranted recordkeeping bur- 
den on manufacturers. 

Costs. 

The agency has revised its cost estimates for 
this rulemaking. The NPRM and preliminary 
regulatory evaluation (PRE) estimated that the 
rule would have an average cost impact of $0.25 
to $0.31 per seat. The estimated cost was $0.13 
to $0.19 for high volume sales, $0.33 to $0.39 for 
medium volume sales, and $0.93 to $0.99 for low 
volume sales. The estimate included the cost for 
providing and attaching the registration form, 
labeling the restraint, recordkeeping, and provid- 



ing postage. The ranges in the cost estimate were 
based on a 20 percent to 40 percent return rate for 
the forms. 

Evenflo and Cosco disagreed with NHTSA's 
cost estimates. Evenflo said that the estimated 
cost for the low volume manufacturer was too 
low. Evenflo also said that the agency's estimate 
does not account for the cost doubling or tripling 
for each level of the distribution chain through 
which the restraint passes. "The ultimate cost to 
the consumer (assuming that the cost is passed on 
the consumer) will actually be three to ten times 
the estimated $1 cost." 

Cosco said that the agency's estimated costs 
are too low. Cosco believed that the true manu- 
facturing costs would be about $1.00 per seat. 
' 'This cost translates into a retail price increase of 
as much as 10 percent for the moderately priced 
restraints and considerably more than that for 
lower-priced booster seats and infant-only 
restraints, which very well might result in lower 
purchases of new car seats." 

NHTSA contacted Evenflo and Cosco for 
information about their cost estimates. Evenflo 
provided information showing some of the basis 
for its estimate. Cosco did not. 

The agency used the information from Evenflo 
to revise the cost estimates. The final regulatory 
evaluation for this rule discusses the cost esti- 
mates in detail. The evaluation, available in the 
docket, explains that NHTSA did not agree with 
some of Evenflo's assumptions about costs. For 
example, the manufacturer's estimate for postage 
costs was very high. However, Evenflo's informa- 
tion enabled NHTSA to estimate that the rule will 
cost $0.47 to $0.52 per restraint for high volume 
manufacturers, and $0.95 to $1.26 for medium 
volume manufacturers. These costs are based on 
a manufacturing cost of $0.20 to $0.22 per 
restraint for high volume manufacturers, and 
$0.40 to $0.53 for medium volume manufacturers. 
The agency determined the retail cost increase 
based on Evenflo's information that the markup 
from manufacturing cost to retail price is 2.37 
times. 

These costs were based on a 30 to 40 percent 
return rate for the forms. The agency has decided 
to change the estimated return rate for the child 
restraint registration forms from 20 to 40 percent 
in the NPRM, to 30 to 40 percent, since, as 
explained above the percentage of the remedied 
seats has increased. 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-80 



Nomenclature unchanged. 

The NPRM proposed a nomenclature change to 
Stiindard 213, to replace the term "'child restraint 
system" with "child safety seat." Two com- 
menters supported the change. About nine coni- 
menters ranging from manufacturers to research- 
ers to safety groups adamantly opposed it. Many 
of the commenters opposing the change said the 
term child safety seat could mislead consumers 
into believing that the device will provide 
absolute protection in a crash. Manufacturers said 
that such an expectation of absolute protection 
could result in severe liability implications for 
them in the event a child is injured or killed in 
the device. Some commenters said that the term 
child safety seat is not descriptive enough to 
make clear that it covers devices such as car beds, 
vests and harnesses. As a result, the term would 
be confusing in Standard 213. 

By proposing the nomenclature change, the 
agenc\' sought to get consumers to better under- 
stand the importance of the seat to the child's 
safety in the automobile and on aircraft. NHTSA 
did not intend to change manufacturers' potential 
legal liability, nor did NHTSA intend to unsettle 
or confuse the current understanding concerning 
which devices are included within the term "child 
restraint systems." While the effectiveness of 
child restraints is beyond question in view of data 
indicating they reduce a child's risk of death or 
serious injury by 70 percent, the agency agrees 
that the proposed nomenclature change could be 
confusing, and defers to commenters' assessment 
that the change might have unintended, undesir- 
able effects on manufacturers' legal liability. 
NHTSA is therefore retaining the term "child 
restraint system" in Standard 213. 

The final rule does not have any retroactive 
effect. Under section 103(d) of the National Traf- 
fic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 
1392(d)), whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety 
standard is in effect, a state may not adopt or 
maintain a safety standard applicable to the same 
aspect of performance which is not identical to 
the Federal standard. Section 105 of the Act (15 
U.S.C. 1394) sets forth a procedure for judicial 
review of final rules establishing, amending or 
revoking Federal motor vehicle safety standards. 
That section does not require submission of a 
petition for reconsideration or other administrative 
proceedings before parties may file suit in court. 



In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA 
amends 49 CFR Part 571 as set forth below: 

1. S4 is amended by adding the following defi- 
nition: 

Factoi-y-installed built-in child restraint system 
means a built-in child restraint system that was 
installed in a motor vehicle at the time of its 
delivery to a dealer or distributor for distribution. 

2. S5.5.1 is revised to read as follows: 

55.5.1 Each add-on child restraint system shall be 
permanently labeled with the information specified 
in S5.5.2(a) through (m). 

3. S5.5.2 is amended by replacing the reference 
to paragraph "(1)" in the introductory paragraph 
with a reference to paragraph "(m)," by 
redesignating the existing text in paragraph (m) as 
paragraph (n), and by adding new paragraph (m), 
to read as follows: 

55.5.2 The information specified in paragraphs (a) 
through (m) of this section shall be stated in the 
English language and lettered in letters and num- 
bers that are not smaller than 10 point type and 
are on a contrasting background. 

:^ :^ ;fc ^ ^ 

(m) The following statement, inserting an 
address and telephone number: "Child restraints 
could be recalled for safety reasons. You must 
register this restraint to be reached in a recall. 
Send your name, address and the restraint's model 
number and manufacturing date to {insert 
address) or call {insert telephone number). For 
recall information, call the U.S. Government's 
Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393 (202-366- 
0123 in D.C. area)." 

(n) Child restraint systems that are certified as 
complying with the provisions of section S8 shall 
be labeled with the statement "THIS 
RESTRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN 
MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT." This 
statement shall be in red lettering, and shall be 
placed after the certification statement required by 
paragraph (e) of this section. 

4. S5.5.4 is revised to read as follows: 

S5.5.4 Each built-in child restraint system shall be 
permanently labeled with the information specified 
in S5. 5.5(a) through (j) so that it is visible when 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-81 



the seat is activated for use as specified in S5.6.2, 
and, except a factory-installed built-in restraint, 
shall be permanently labeled with the information 
specified in S5.5.5(k). 

5. S5.5.5 is amended by revising the introduc- 
tory text and adding paragraph (k) to read as fol- 
lows: 

S5.5.5 The information specified in paragraphs (a) 
through (k) of this section shall be stated in the 
English language and lettered in letters and num- 
bers that are not smaller than 10-point type and 
are on a contrasting background. The information 
specified in paragraphs (a) through (j) shall be 
printed in the vehicle's owner's manual. 

(k) The following statement, inserting an 
address and telephone number: "Child restraints 
could be recalled for safety reasons. You must 
register this restraint to be reached in a recall. 
Send your name, address and the restraint's model 
number and manufacturing date to (insert 
address) or call (insert telephone number). For 
recall information, call the U.S. Government's 
Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393 (202-366- 
0123 in D.C. area)." 

6. S5.6 would be amended by adding para- 
graph S5.6.1.7 and S5.6.2.2, to read as follows: 

S5.6 Printed instructions for proper use. 

S5.6.1.7 The instructions shall include the follow- 
ing statement, inserting an address and telephone 
number: "Child restraints could be recalled for 
safety reasons. You must register this restraint to 
be reached in a recall. Send your name, address 
and the restraint's model number and manufactur- 
ing date to (insert address) or call (insert tele- 
phone number). For recall information, call the 
U.S. Government's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800- 
424-9393 (202-366-0123 in D.C. area)." 



6.2.2 The instructions for each built-in child 
restraint system, except a factory-installed 
restraint, shall include the following statement, 
inserting an address and telephone number: 
"Child restraints could be recalled for safety rea- 
sons. You must register this restraint to be reached 
in a recall. Send your name, address and the 
restraint's model number and manufacturing date 
to (insert address) or call (insert telephone num- 
ber). For recall information, call the U.S. Govern- 
ment's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393 
(202-366-0123 in D.C. area)." 

7. A new paragraph S5.8 is added to 571.213 
to read as follows: 

S5.8 Information requirements — registration form. 

(a) Each child restraint system, except a fac- 
tory-installed built-in restraint system, shall have 
a registration form attached to any surface of the 
restraint that contacts the dummy when the 
dummy is positioned in the system in accordance 
with S6.1.2 of Standard 213. 

(b) Each form shall: 

(1) Consist of a postcard that is attached at 
a perforation to an informational card; 

(2) Conform in size, content and format to 
Figures 9a and 9b; and 

(3) Have a thickness of at least 0.007 inches 
and not more than 0.0095 inches. 

(c) Each postcard shall provide the model name 
or number anddate of manufacture (month, year) 
of the child restraint system to which the form is 
attached, shall contain space for the purchaser to 
record his or her name and mailing address, shall 
be addressed to the manufacturer, and shall be 
postage paid. No other information shall appear 
on the postcard, except identifying information 
that distinguishes a particular child restraint sys- 
tem from other systems of that model name or 
number may be preprinted in the shaded area of 
the postcard, as shown in figure 9a. 

Figures 9a and 9b are added to 571.213. 

57 F.R. 41428 
Septmber 10, 1992 



PART 571: S 213— PRE-82 



3.5" 
minimum 



3.5" 
minimum 



■ 5" minimum-^ 



FOR YOUR CHILD'S CONTINUED SAFETY 



Please take a few moments to promptly 
attached card. 



out and return the 



Although child restraint systems undergo testing and evaluation, 
it is possible that a child restraint could be recalled. 

In case of recall, we can reach you only if we have your name 
and address, so please send in the card to be on our recall list. 



Please fill this card out and mail It NOW, 
while you are thinking about it. 

It's already addressed and we've paid the postage. 



Tear off and mail this part 



Consumer: Just fill in your name and address. 



Your name 



Your street address 



City 



state 



Zip Code 



CHILD RESTRAINT REGISTRATION CARD 



RESTRAINT MODEL XXX 
SERIAL NUMBER YYYY 
MANUFACTURED ZZ-ZZ-19ZZ 




Preprinted 
message to 
consumer; bold 
typeface, caps 
and lower case 
minimum 12 point 
type. 



FOLD / PERFORA TION 




Minimum 10% 
screen tint. 

Preprinted or 
stamped child 
safety seat 
model name or 
number and date 
of manufacture. 



Figure 9a— Registration Form for Child Systems — Product Identification Number and Purchaser 

Information Side. 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-83 



•5" minimum - 



3.5" 
minimum 



IMPORTANT 

In case of a recall, we can reach you only if we 
have your name and address. You MUST send In 
the attached card to be on our recall list. 

We've already paid the postage. 

Do it today. 




NO POSTAGE 

NECESSARY 

IF MAILED 

IN THE 

UNITED STATES 




3.5" 
minimum 



MANUFACTURER 
POST OFFICE BOX 0000 
ANYTOWN, ST 12345-6789 



( 



Block letters 
(sans serif) — Bold 
minimum 48 point 
type, caps. 



Minimum 10% 
screen tint 



Preprinted 
message to 
consumer; bold 
typeface, caps 
and lower case 
minimum 12 point 
type. 



■ FOLD / PERFORATION 



Indication that 
• postage is 
prepaid. 



Preprinted or 
stamped name 
and address of 
manufacturer or 
its designee. 



i 



Figure 9b— Registration Form for Child Restraint Systems— Address Side. 



i 



PART 571; S 213— PRE-84 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 

SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 

Child Restraint Systems 

(Docket No. 74-09; Notice 27) 
RIN: 2127-AD45 



ACTION: l-inal rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule amends Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard 213. Child Restraint Sys- 
tems, to require add-on child restraints to meet the 
requirements of the standard at each of the angles 
to which the seat back can be adjusted and at each 
of the restraint belt routing positions. This amend- 
ment improves safety by removing the possibility 
that a child restraint can be designed to transport 
a child in a motor vehicle or aircraft while the 
restraint is adjusted to a position in which the 
restraint would not comply with the standard. 

DATES: The amendment is effective on March 9, 
1993. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule 
amends S5 of Standard 213. Child Restraint Sys- 
tems, to expand the requirements for child 
restraint systems manufactured for use in motor 
\ehicles. and motor vehicles and aircraft. 

The requirements are expanded to apply to pre- 
viously-excluded adjustment positions on child 
restraints. Child restraint systems typically have 
more than one seat back angle adjustment posi- 
tion and a number of restraint belt routing posi- 
tions. Under the standard before this amendment, 
adjustment positions could be excluded from the 
excursion (S5.1.3) and seat inversion (S8.2) 
requirements of the standard if the manufacturer 
warned that the positions were not for use in 
motor vehicles or aircraft. This rule eliminates 
that exclusion of adjustment positions, regardless 
of whether the manufacturer provides a warning. 

This rule also removes the related provisions 
(S5.5.2(i). S8.1) that required manufacturers of 
restraints with excluded adjustment positions to 
identify those positions on labels attached to the 
restraints. This rule also amends the conditions 
for the dynamic systems test and the inversion 



test to clarify the effect of removing these provi- 
sions. 

The proposal for this rule was published on 
August 12, 1991 (56 FR 38105). NHTSA began 
this action in response to a petition for rule- 
making from Consumer Action (CA) and the 
Center for Auto Safety (CAS). 

Background 

This rulemaking highlights the relationship 
between the test procedures specified in Standard 
213 and the performance required of a child 
restraint system. The National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act requires child restraint manu- 
facturers to certify each restraint as complying 
with Standard 213. NHTSA checks the validity of 
the certification by evaluating the restraint's 
performance vhen tested in accordance with the 
procedures specified in the standard (S6, S8). 
Generally, the procedures for the dynamic sled 
and seat inversion tests specify that the restraint 
be installed on a simulated car or aircraft seat "in 
accordance with the manufacturer's instructions" 
provided to the consumer. (However, the proce- 
dures for the dynamic sled test require that most 
restraints must be secured using only the standard 
vehicle lap belt. See, S6. 1.2. 1.1 (a)) The proce- 
dures also specify that the test dummy used to 
test the restraint is positioned "according to the 
instructions for child positioning" provided by 
the manufacturer to the consumer. (See. e.g.. 
S6. 1.2.3.1, 6.1.2.3.2 and 6.1.2.3.3.) The installa- 
tion instructions must provide a narrative discus- 
sion and diagrams to facilitate installing the 
restraint in motor vehicles or aircraft, positioning 
a child in the restraint and adjusting the restraint 
to fit the child (S5.6.1 and S8.1). 

Each adjustment position of a child restraint is 
currently subject to dynamic testing unless the 
restraints manufacturer does not intend that posi- 
tion to be used in motor vehicles or aircraft and 



PART 571; S 213 PRE-85 



expressly states that intent on a label attached to 
the restraint. If the position is not intended to be 
so used, it is excluded from the standard's occu- 
pant excursion (S5.1.3) and inversion (S8.2) 
requirements. The purpose of the excursion and 
inversion requirements is to ensure that the child 
occupant is retained within the system in a crash. 

Consumer Action and CAS requested that 
NHTSA amend Standard 213 by removing the 
provision, S5.5.2(i), which requires manufacturers 
to warn consumers, by way of a warning label on 
the restraint, against using an adjustment position 
in a vehicle if the manufacturer deems the posi- 
tion is unsuitable for such use. The petitioners 
believed that the S5.5.2(i) warning label is 
insufficient to ensure that a child restraint system 
will not be used in the restricted positions in a 
motor vehicle. It appeared that the basis for the 
petition was the petitioners' belief that warning 
labels are generally ineffective. 

NHTSA issued a notice of proposed rule- 
making (NPRM) to further consider the issue of 
restricted adjustment positions. NHTSA did not 
agree with the petitioners that warning labels are 
generally insufficient to produce desired behav- 
iors. However, the agency was concerned about 
positions that are unsuitable for vehicle use, yet 
are made a part of a child restraint system for no 
reason that outweighs the likelihood that the seat 
will be misused and the risk to safety unaccept- 
ably increased. (56 FR at 38106.) 

NHTSA developed a proposal to achieve the 
purpose of the requested amendment. With regard 
to restraints for motor vehicles, NHTSA proposed 
to amend S5.1.3, Occupant excursion, to remove 
the provision that excludes the restricted positions 
from the excursion requirement. Since the exclu- 
sion would be removed, NHTSA also proposed to 
remove S5.5.2(i), the labeling provision for 
restricting a position. To make clear the effect of 
these amendments, NHTSA proposed to amend 
S5 to require each restraint to "meet the require- 
ments in [S5] at all adjustment positions (includ- 
ing, but not limited to each seat back angle 
adjustment position and each restraint belt anchor- 
age and routing position), when tested in accord- 
ance with S6. 1" of Standard 213. 

With regard to restraints for aircraft, the NPRM 
proposed similar amendments. The NPRM pro- 
posed to remove the provision in Standard 213 
that excludes restricted adjustment positions from 



the inversion test requirement (S8.2) and to 
remove the warning label requirement in S8.1. 

In issuing the NPRM, NHTSA believed that i 
most manufacturers had ceased designing child ^ 
restraints with adjustment positions not intended 
for motor vehicle and aircraft use. However, the 
agency tentatively concluded the amendments 
were needed to ensure that no restricted position 
would be included in future restraint systems. Id. 

Comments on the NPRM 
NHTSA received comments from CAS, Advo- 
cates for Highway and Auto Safety, Cosco, Ford 
Motor Company, and the University of Michigan. 
These entities generally supported the NPRM, 
with comments relating to particular issues raised 
by the proposal. 

EjfectofSS 

Cosco and the University of Michigan sug- 
gested that the language of the proposed amend- 
ment to S5 was unclear and overbroad. Cosco 
said that a number of adjustment positions on its 
child restraints could be unintentionally affected 
by the proposed S5, and that convertible restraints 
might be especially affected. (Convertible 
restraints are restraints designed for use by both m 
infants and toddlers. For most convertible ^ 
restraints, certain restraint adjustment positions 
are designed for infants only, while other posi- 
tions are suitable for toddlers only.) Emphasizinq 
that the NPRM stated convertible restraints serve 
a safety need, Cosco argued that their manufac- 
ture should be not prohibited. 

Cosco gave several examples of how it 
believed that the proposed language of S5 would 
create uncertainty about the permissibility of cer- 
tain adjustment positions on convertible restraints. 
Cosco said that its "Dream Ride" restraint is a 
"car seat/car bed with an upright, rear-facing 
position and fully reclined, side-facing position." 
The instructions for the restraint state that it 
should not be used in a front-to-back position 
when fully reclined, i.e., placed in a vehicle so 
that its and the vehicle's longitudinal axes are 
parallel. 

The commenter believed that the proposed lan- 
guage would subject the fully reclined position to 
Standard 213 requirements in the front-to-back 
position on the standard seat assembly. Cosco M^ 
suggested that S5 should expressly permit manu- ^, 
facturers to "designate ... that certain weights and 



PART 571; S 213 PRE-86 



seating positions are not acceptable under certain 
conditions, as long as there are no adjustment 
positions available which cannot be used in motor 
vehicles under any conditions." 

To address Cosco's concerns, NHTSA has 
made several changes. The agency has revised the 
amendment to S5. The amendment retains the 
existing statement in S5 about child restraint 
requirements: 

Each child restraint system certified for use 

in motor vehicles shall meet the requirements 

in this section when, as specified, tested in 

accordance with S6. 1. 
In addition, the agency is adding a statement 
specifying that each add-on system shall meet the 
requirements of S5 at each of the restraint's seat 
back, iuigle adjustment positions and restraint belt 
routing positions, when the restraint is oriented in 
the direction recommended for use (e.g., forward, 
rearward or laterally) pursuant to S5.6, and used 
with the test dummy specified in S7 of the stand- 
ard. 

Under the first sentence in S5, the orientation 
and adjustment of a child restraint for compliance 
testing purposes is determined based upon the 
instructions given by manufacturers to consumers 
regarding the installation and use of that restraint. 
The second sentence qualifies the first sentence 
by limiting the extent to which a manufacturer's 
instructions affect how and to what extent a child 
restraint is subject to testing under the standard. 
Under the second sentence, regardless of the 
manufacturer's instructions, a child restraint is 
subject to testing in all seat back angles and belt 
routing positions. However, a manufacturer's 
instructions about a matter such as restraint ori- 
entation will still affect compliance testing. For 
example, if a manufacturer's instructions state that 
a car bed is to be installed side-to-side (per- 
pendicular to the vehicle's longitudinal axis), but 
not front-to-back (parallel to that axis), the car 
bed will be subject to testing in the side-to- side 
orientation only. 

It does not appear, however, that the originally 
proposed amendment to S5 would have caused 
the seat positioning problems Cosco described for 
its Dream Ride restraint. The proposed text 
retained the present provision in S5 that restraints 
are "tested in accordance with S6. 1," the section 
in the standard that specifies the test conditions 
and procedures for the dynamic systems test. 
Under S6. 1, a restraint is installed on a simulated 



vehicle seat in accordance with the manufactur- 
er's instructions. A restraint that is designed to be 
adjusted to different configurations for different 
child weights is oriented forward, rearward or lat- 
erally, depending on the manufacturer's instruc- 
tions for using the restraint. 

The University of Michigan (UM) suggested S5 
would be clearer if it stated: "Each child restraint 
system certified for use in motor vehicles shall 
meet the requirements in this section at each 
adjustment position (...) in at least one type of 
vehicle (ground or aircraft) when tested in accord- 
ance with the procedures of S6. 1 for at least one 
specified range of child weight." As amended 
today, S5 is similar to UM's suggested text. How- 
ever, the agency has not adopted the "ground or 
aircraft" language suggested by the commenter. 
When a manufacturer certifies its restraint as 
complying with the requirements for restraints for 
aircraft, the manufacturer states: "THIS 
RESTRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN 
MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT." 
(S5.5.2(m); emphasis added.) An adjustment posi- 
tion that meets Standard 213 for aircraft use but 
not for vehicle use would not be acceptable under 
the standard. 

Other amendments 
This rule makes conforming changes to the test 
procedures for the excursion and inversion 
requirements. Currently, the test dummy used to 
test to these requirements is positioned in the 
restraint according to the manufacturer's instruc- 
tions for child positioning. Under today's amend- 
ment, each of the restraint's seat back angles and 
belt routing positions will be subject to testing, 
notwithstanding the manufacturer's instructions 
not to use those adjustment positions in vehicles 
or aircraft. 

Aircraft use 

Cosco commented that the proposed amend- 
ment to the requirements for restraints certified 
for aircraft use would have a negative impact on 
its Dream Ride restraint. NHTSA disagrees. 

Cosco said it currently informs the consumer 
that the restraint should be used on aircraft only 
in the partially upright (rear-facing) position. 
Cosco said that it does not recommend the fully 
reclined position on aircraft since two aircraft 
seats are needed to accommodate the restraint in 
that adjustment position and consumers are 
unlikely to purchase those seats. Cosco indicated 



PART 571; S 213 PRE-87 



that the Dream Ride performs adequately in the 
car bed position, if the two aircraft seats are used. 
The commenter was concerned that it would have 
to eliminate the fully reclined position because 
the position is one that is not intended for use in 
aircraft. 

NHTSA does not seek to have Cosco eliminate 
the fully reclined position on its restraint, or 
remove the Dream Ride from the models of 
restraints certified for both motor vehicles and 
aircraft. Safety is furthered by the availability of 
restraints manufactured for both vehicles and air- 
craft. 

NHTSA does seek to ensure through today's 
amendment to the aircraft requirements that each 
seat back angle and belt routing position in 
restraints manufactured for both vehicles and air- 
craft passes the inversion requirement when tested 
according to the procedures in the standard. 
Cosco indicated that the Dream Ride, fully 
reclined, would pass the inversion test while 
fully-reclined and positioned crosswise, on two 
aircraft seats. If that is the case, the restraint 
already complies with the standard's amended air- 
craft requirements. As long as the restraint passes 
while fully reclined and positioned crosswise, the 
existence of that adjustment position does not 
prohibit Cosco from manufacturing and selling 
that child restraint. Further, nothing prohibits 
Cosco from recommending in its infomiation to 
consumers that the seat not be used in that ori- 
entation on aircraft. Thus, the restraint must meet 
the inversion test in all of its back angles and belt 
routing positions. For example, the Dream Ride 
could be tested fully reclined with the six-month- 
old dummy while positioned crosswise, on two 
aircraft seats, even if Cosco recommends the fully 
reclined position not be used on aircraft. 

Built-in restraint systems 
Ford said the proposed amendments to S5 
could complicate testing of built-in child restraints 
that form part of a reclining vehicle seat. Ford 
stated: 

Built-in child restraints can be installed in 
vehicle seats that can be adjusted to positions 
that are not intended for use while the vehicle 
is moving. For example, many vehicle seats 
can be reclined to allow weary drivers and pas- 
sengers to rest at highway rest areas. 
Ford suggested that the proposed amendment 
expressly apply to add-on restraints only. The 



commenter believed such application was 
intended by the agency, since no mention was 
made in the preamble for the NPRM about built- 
in restraints. 

Ford also asked about an apparent discrepancy 
between the effect of the proposed S5 on built-in 
restraints and the specified test conditions (S6.1.1) 
for testing the restraints. The proposed S5 would 
have required built-in restraints to meet the stand- 
ard's requirements "at all adjustment positions" 
when tested in accordance with the conditions and 
procedures of S6.1. However, under S6.1, if a 
specific vehicle is used (the second of two stand- 
ard test devices that can be used, at the manufac- 
turer's option, to test a built-in system), a built- 
in system is tested with the vehicle seat "in the 
manufacturer's nominal design riding position." 
Stated differendy, S6. 1 provides for testing only 
one adjustment position. 

Ford is correct that the agency intended only to 
address add-on systems in this rulemaking action. 
NHTSA did not consider how the proposed 
amendment would affect adjustment positions on 
built-in seats. For those seats, a reclining vehicle 
seat back may also be the seat back of a child 
restraint built into the vehicle seat. 

A built-in system that is part of a seat with a 
reclining seat back would probably fail to meet 
the standard if the seat back were reclined and if 
today's rule applied to it. Such an amendment 
could have required some redesigning of seats. 
The agency is uncertain whether there is suffi- 
cient reason to disallow the reclining feature. 
Reclining seats let weary drivers and passengers 
rest at highway rest areas (as discussed by Ford 
in its comment). Indeed. NHTSA has observed 
that some reclining seat backs in vans recline all 
the way down to the horizontal position so as to 
create a sleeping surface stretching from the rear 
of the third seating surface to the front of the sec- 
ond seating surface. Reclining seats also provide 
for easier loading of the vehicle. 

Use of a built-in restraint when the vehicle seat 
back is reclined at a sharp angle would be 
undesirable. However, until the agency learns that 
vehicles being driven with children in such 
reclined positions occurs frequently enough to 
become a significant problem, the relative merits 
of the reclining vehicle seat need not be further 
addressed. There is sufficient justification for the 
reclinability of such seats to warrant their exclu- 
sion from today's S5 amendments. However, 



PART 571; S 213 PRE-88 



NHTSA recommends that manufacturers warn 
consumers against using an adjustment position 

I on a built-in restraint while the vehicle is in 
motion if the position cannot provide adequate 
protection. 

In response to an issue raised by Ford in its 
comment, today's rule adopts a technical amend- 
ment to the standard's test conditions for built-in 
restraints. As stated above. Stiuidard 213 permits 
manufacturers the option of choosing to test a 
built-in system with the specific vehicle shell or 
the specific vehicle. (S6. l.i.l(a).) Ford pointed 
out that the conditions under which a built-in sys- 
tem is tested using the shell are inconsistent with 
those under which the vehicle is tested. 

The conditions are specified in much greater 
details for the vehicle test than the shell test. 
Some of the conditions are appropriate for the 
vehicle and not for the shell, e.g., vehicle loading 
specifications. However, many of the conditions 
specified in the vehicle test are relevant for the 
shell test but are not specified for the latter. For 
example, conditions for the longitudinal and verti- 
cal seat positioning, and seat back, adjustment 
position, are relevant yet unspecified. 

As a practical matter, the lack of specifications 

' is inconsequential. The test procedures for built- 
in restraints direct NHTSA to "activate the 
restraint in the specific vehicle shell or the spe- 
cific vehicle, in accordance with the manufactur- 
er's instructions provided in the vehicle owner's 
manual in accordance with S5.6.2." (See 
S6. 1.2. 1.1 and S6. 1.2. 1.2.) Under these instruc- 
tions, the vehicle seat that contains the built-in 
child restraint generally would be adjusted as the 
manufacturer directs, for both the vehicle and the 
shell tests. 

This rule makes the test conditions for the 
vehicle and shell tests consistent, in response to 
Ford's request that the conditions be clarified. 
The amendment is merely technical; the agency 
believes there will be no changes in the manner 
in which built-in restraints are tested. 

Other comments 
NHTSA stated in the NPRM that the agency 
conducted an informal survey of 15 restraint sys- 
tems, and did not find any currently being manu- 
factured that is labeled with the S5.5.2(i) warning. 
I 56 FR at 38106. Both CAS and Advocates for 
' Highway-and Auto Safety (Advocates) said that 
NHTSA should survey all child seat manufactur- 



ers to determine whether restraints are being sold 
with restricted adjustment positions. 

NHTSA does not believe an additional survey 
is necessary. Child restraint manufacturers did not 
question the validity of the agency's survey, 
except to point out the issue about built-in 
restraints, discussed above. An additional survey 
is unlikely to yield knowledge more useful than 
the information that the agency already possesses. 

CAS and Advocates commented also on issues 
that were outside the scope of the rulemaking 
proposal. They concurred with NHTSA that 
convertible restraints should continue to be avail- 
able to consumers. However, both organizations 
suggested further large-scale testing of the 
restraints by NHTSA. CAS said the agency 
should determine whether the seats "provide ade- 
quate protection in any adjustment position." 
Advocates urged NHTSA to conduct tests on 
whether convertible seats are being properly used 
by the consumer. CAS and Advocates also com- 
mented on improving Standard 213's labeling 
requirements. Both said the agency should guide 
the industry toward developing improved 
consumer information on the appropriate use of a 
restraint system. 

NHTSA regards these comments as suggestions 
for future rulemaking. The agency has placed 
copies of the comments in NHTSA docket 74-09- 
N21, which relates to planned research and pos- 
sible upgrades to Standard 213. 

Typographical correction 
No comments were received on the proposed 
correction of S5.3.1. The correction is made in 
this rule. 

Concurrent amendments 

Readers should note that Standard 213's label- 
ing requirements are further amended by a final 
rule published elsewhere in today's edition of the 
Federal Register. That rulemaking relates to an 
owner registration requirement for child restraint 
systems. In addition, NHTSA published an 
NPRM to amend certain labeling and other 
requirements for built-in restraint systems. 57 FR 
870: January 9, 1992. Any amendments that 
might ultimately be adopted based on the January 
1992 notice may modify existing labeling require- 
ments, including the requirements adopted today. 

This final rule does not have any retroactive 
effect. Under § 103(d) of the National Traffic and 



PART 571; S 213 PRE-89 



Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1392(d)), 
whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety standard 
is in effect, a state may not adopt or maintain a 
safety standard applicable to the same aspect of 
performance which is not identical to the Federal 
standard. Section 105 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 1394) 
sets forth a procedure for judicial review of final 
rules establishing, amending or revoking Federal 
motor vehicle safety standards. That section does 
not require submission of a petition for 
reconsideration or other administrative proceed- 
ings before parties may file suit in court. 

In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA 
amends 49 CFR part 571 as set forth below. 

1. The authority citation for part 571 continues 
to read as follows: 

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1403, 1407; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.§ 571.213 
[Amended] 

2. The introductory text of S5 is revised to read 
as follows: 

S5 Requirements for child restraint systems 
certified for use in motor vehicles. Each child 
restraint system certified for use in motor vehicles 
shall meet the requirements in this section when, 
as specified, tested in accordance with S6. 1 and 
this paragraph. Each add-on system shall meet the 
requirements at each of the restraint's seat back 
angle adjustment positions and restraint belt rout- 
ing positions, when the restraint is oriented in the 
direction recommended by the manufacturer (e.g., 
forward, rearward or laterally) pursuant to S5.6, 
and tested with the test dummy specified in S7. 

3. S5.1.3 is revised to read as follows: 

S5.1.3 Occupant excursion. When tested in 
accordance with S6.1, each child restraint system 
shall meet the applicable excursion limit require- 
ments specified in S5. 1.3.1- S5.1.3.3. 

4. S5.3.1 is revised to read as follows: 

S5.3.1 Each add-on child restraint system shall 
have no means designed for attaching the system 
to a vehicle seat cushion or vehicle seat back and 
no component (except belts) that is designed to be 
inserted between the vehicle seat cushion and 
vehicle seat back. 

T^ -t* 't» 'T' 'T* 

5. S5.5.2(i) is removed and reserved. 

6. S5.5.5(g) is revised to read as follows: 



(g) The statement specified in paragraph (1), 
and if appropriate, the statement in paragraph (2): i 

(1) WARNING! FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE " 
MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS ON 
THE USE OF THIS CHILD RESTRAINT SYS- 
TEM CAN RESULT IN YOUR CHILD STRIK- 
ING THE VEHICLE'S INTERIOR DURING A 
SUDDEN STOP OR CRASH. 

(2) In the case of each built-in child restraint 
system which is not intended for use in the motor 
vehicle at certain adjustment positions, the follow- 
ing statement, inserting the manufacturer's adjust- 
ment restrictions. 

DO NOT USE THE ADJUSTMENT 

POSITION(S) OF THIS CHILD RESTRAINT 
WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN MOTION. 

7. S6. 1.1. 1(a) through the introductory text of 
S6. 1.1. 1(c) is revised to read as follows: 

S6. 1.1. 1(a) The test device for add-on restraint 
systems is the standard seat assembly specified in 
S7.3. The assembly is mounted on a dynamic test . 
platform so that the center SORL of the seat is \ 
parallel to the direction of the test platform travel 
and so that movement between the base of the 
assembly and the platform is prevented. 

(b) The test device for built-in child restraint 
systems is either the specific vehicle shell or the 
specific vehicle. 

(l)(i) The specific vehicle shell, if selected for 
testing, is mounted on a dynamic test platform so 
that the longitudinal center line of the shell is par- 
allel to the direction of the test platform travel 
and so that movement between the base of the 
shell and the platform is prevented. Adjustable 
seats are in the adjustment position midway 
between the forwardmost and rearmost positions, 
and if separately adjustable in a vertical direction, 
are at the lowest position. If an adjustment posi- 
tion does not exist midway between the 
forwardmost and rearmost position, the closest 
adjustment position to the rear of the midpoint is 
used. Adjustable seat backs are in the manufactur- 
er's nominal design riding position. If such a 
position is not specified, the seat back is posi- 
tioned so that the longitudinal center line of the i 
child test dummy's neck is vertical, and if an 
instrumented test dummy is used, the acceler- 



PART 571: S 213 PRE-90 



ometer surfaces in the dummy's head and thorax, 
as positioned in the vehicle, are horizontal. If the 
vehicle scat is equipped with adjustable head 
restraints, each is adjusted to its highest adjust- 
ment position. 

(ii) The platfomi is in.struniented with an accel- 
erometer and data processing system having a fre- 
quency response of 60 Hz channel class as speci- 
fied in Society of Automotive Engineers Rec- 
ommended Practice J211 JUN80 "Instrumentation 
for Impact Tests." The accelerometer sensitive 
axis is parallel to the direction of test platform 
travel. 

(2) For built-in child restraint systems, an alter- 
nate test device is the specific vehicle into which 
the built-in system is fabricated. The following 
test conditions apply to this alternate test device. 






8. In S6.1.1, S6. 1.1.5 is added to read as fol- 
lows: 






S6. 1.1.5 In the case of add-on child restraint 
systems, the restraint shall meet the requirements 
of S5 at each of its seat back angle adjustment 
positions and restraint belt routing positions, when 
the restraint is oriented in the direction rec- 
ommended by the manufacturer (e.g., forward, 
rearward or laterally) pursuant to S5.6, and tested 
with the test dummy specified in S7. 
9. S8.1 is revised to read as follows: 
S8.1 Installation instructions. Each child 
restraint system manufactured for use in aircraft 



shall be accompanied by printed instructions in 
English that provide a step-by-step procedure, 
including diagrams, for installing the system in 
aircraft passenger seats, securing a child in the 
system when it is installed in aircraft, and adjust- 
ing the system to fit the child. 

10. S8.2 is revised to read as follows: 
S8.2 Inversion test. When tested in accordance 
with S8.2.1 through S8.2.5, each child restraint 
system manufactured for use in aircraft shall meet 
the requirements of S8.2.1 through S8.2.6. The 
manufacturer may, at its option, use any seat 
which is a representative aircraft passenger seat 
within the meaning of S4. Each system shall meet 
the requirements at each of the restraint's seat 
back angle adjustment positions and restraint belt 
routing positions, when the restraint is oriented in 
the direction recommended by the manufacturer 
(e.g., facing forward, rearward or laterally) pursu- 
ant to S8.1, and tested with the test dummy speci- 
fied in S7. If the manufacturer recommendations 
do not include instructions for orienting the 
restraint in aircraft when the restraint seat back 
angle is adjusted to any position, position the 
restraint on the aircraft seat by following the 
instructions (provided in accordance with S5.6) 
for orienting the restraint in motor vehicles. 
Issued on: September 4, 1992. 

Howard M. Smolkin 
Executive Director 

57 F.R. 41423 
September 10, 1992 



PART 571; S 213 PRE-91 



< 



FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 213 
Child Restraint Systems, Seat Belt Assemblies, and Anchorages 

(Docket No. 74-9; Notice 26) 
RIM: 2127-AD46 



51. Scope. This standard specifies requirements 
for child restraint systems used in motor vehicles 
and aircraft. 

52. Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to 
reduce the number of children killed or injured in 
motor vehicle crashes and in aircraft. 

53. Application. This standard applies to child 
restraint systems for use in motor vehicles and air- 
craft. 

54. Definitions. Add-on child restraint system 
means any portable child restraint system. 

Booster seat means a child restraint which con- 
sists of only a seating platform that does not 
extend up to provide a cushion for the child's 
back or head. 

Built-in child restraint system means any child 
restraint system which is an integral part of a pas- 
senger car. 

Car bed means a child restraint system 
designed to restrain or position a child in the 
supine or prone position on a continuous flat sur- 
face. 

Child restraint system means any device, 
except Type I or Type II seat belts, designed for 
use in a motor vehicle or aircraft to restrain, seat, 
or position children who weigh 50 pounds or less. 

Contactahle suiface means any child restraint 
system surface (other than that of a belt, belt 
buckle, or belt adjustment hardware) that may 
contact any part of the head or torso of the appro- 
priate test dummy, specified in S7, when a child 
restraint system is tested in accordance with S6.1. 
[Factory-installed built-in child restraint system 
means a built-in child restraint system that was 
installed in a motor vehicle at the time of its 
delivery to a dealer or distributor for di.stribution. 
(57 F.R. 41428— .September 10, 1992. Effective: 
March 9, 1993)j 



Representative aircraft passenger seat means 
either a Federal Aviation Administration approved 
production aircraft passenger seat or a simulated 
aircraft passenger seat conforming to Figure 6. 

Seat orientation reference line or SOR means 
the horizontal line through Point Z as illustrated 
in Figure lA. 



Ret. NHTSA Drawing 
No. SAS-1000 




SORL— SEAT ORIENTATION REFERENCE LINE (HORIZONTAL) 

Figure 1 A— SORL Location on the Standard 
Seat 

Specific vehicle shell means the actual vehicle 
model part into which the built-in child restraint 
system is fabricated, including the complete 
surroundings of the built-in system. If the built- 
in child restraint system is manufactured as part 
of the rear seat, these surroundings include the 
back of the front seat, the interior rear side door 
panels and trim, the rear seat, the floor pan, the 
B and C pillars, and the ceiling. If the built-in 
system is manufactured as part of the front seat, 
these suiToundings include the dashboard; the 
steering wheel, column, and attached levers and 
knobs; the "A" pillars; any levers and knobs 
installed in the floor or on a console; the interior 
front side door panels and trim; the front seat; the 
floor pan; and the ceiling. 

Torso means the portion of the body of a 
seated anthropomorphic test dummy, excluding 
the thighs, that lies between the top of the child 



PART 571: S 213-1 



(Rev. 9/10/92) 



restraint system seating surface and the top of the 
shoulders of the test dummy. 

S5. Requirements for child restraint systems 
certified for use in motor vehicles. [Each child 
restraint system certified for use in motor vehicles 
shall meet the requirements in this section when, 
as specified, tested in accordance with S6. 1. and 
this paragraph. Each add-on system shall meet the 
requirements at each of the restraint's seat back 
angle adjustment positions and restraint belt rout- 
ing positions, when the restraint is oriented in the 
direction recommended by the manufacturer (e.g., 
forward, rearward or laterally) pursuant to S5.6, 
and tested with the test dummy specified in S7. 
(57 F.R. 41423— September 10, 1992. Effective: 
March 9, 1993)] 

S5.1 Dynamic performance. 

55.1.1 Child restraint system integrity. When 
tested in accordance with S6. 1 , each child restraint 
system shall; 

(a) Exhibit no complete separation of any load 
bearing structural element and no partial separa- 
tion exposing either surfaces with a radius of less 
than '/4 inch or surfaces with protrusions greater 
than Vs inch above the immediate adjacent 
surrounding contactable surface of any structural 
element of the system; 

(b) If adjustable to different positions, remain 
in the same adjustment position during the testing 
as it was immediately before the testing; and 

(c) If a front facing child restraint system, not 
allow the angle between the system's back sup- 
port surfaces for the child and the system's seat- 
ing surface to be less than 45 degrees at the 
completion of the test. 

55.1.2 Injury criteria. When tested in accord- 
ance with S6.1, each child restraint system that, in 
accordance with S5.5.2(f). is recommended for use 
by children weighing more than 20 pounds, 
shall— 

(a) Limit the resultant acceleration at the loca- 
tion of the accelerometer mounted in the test 
dummy head as specified in Part 572 such that 
the expression: 



J" 



adt 



2.5 



(l2- U) 



shall not exceed 1,000, where a is the resultant 
acceleration expressed as a multiple of g (the 
acceleration of gravity), and ti and ta, are any two 
moments during the impacts. 

(b) Limit the resultant acceleration at the loca- 
tion of the accelerometer mounted in the test 
dummy upper thorax as specified in Part 572 to 
not more than 60 g's, except for intervals whose 
cumulative duration is not more than 3 milli- 
seconds. 

S5.1.3 Occupant excursion. [When tested in 
accordance with S6.1, each child restraint system 
shall meet the applicable excursion limit require- 
ments specified in S5.1.3.1-S5.1.3.3. (57 F.R. 
41423— September 10, 1992. Effective: March 9, 
1993)] 

S5.1.3.1 Child restraint systems other than 
rear-facing ones and car beds. Each child 
restraint system, other than a rear-facing child 
restraint system or a car bed, shall retain the test 
dummy's torso within the system. 

(a) In the case of an add-on child restraint sys- 
tem, no portion of the test dummy's head shall 
pass through the vertical transverse plane that is 
32 inches forward of point Z on the standard seat 
assembly, measured along the center SORL (as 
illustrated in Figure IB), and neither knee pivot 
point shall pass through the vertical, transverse 
plane that is 36 inches forward of point Z on the 
standard seat assembly, measured along the center 
SORL. 

(b) In the case of a built-in child restraint sys- 
tem, neither knee pivot shall pass through a verti- 
cal, transverse plane that is 36 inches forward of 
the hinge point of the specific passenger car seat 
into which the system is built, measured along a 
horizontal line parallel to the vehicle's longitu- 
dinal center line and the center line of the pas- 
senger car seat. 



PART 571; S 213-2 



^ 



-0 



^Upper Torso Belt Anchorage Point 

Anchorage Point on 
Rear Package Shelf 

© 



Rear Lap Belt 
Buckle Location 



Ref. NHTSA Drawing 
No. SAS-1000 




Notes: (1) Upper Torso Belt Anchorae Point Located 
21 .4" Right or Left of the Center SORL 
as shown in Fig. 1A 
(2) Rear Lap Belt Buckle Located 7.0" Right or 
Left of the Center SORL as shown in Fig. 1 A 



Forward 
Excursion Point 



Figure 1B — Locations of Additional Belt Anchorage Points and Forward Excursion Limit 



) 



Seatback frontal surface plane extended 



Foreward Limit 

Upper Restraint 
Surface Point 
\ 



> 




Note: The limits 

illustrated move 
during dynamic 
testing 



Figure 1C — Rear Facing Child Restraint Forward and Upper Head Excursion Limits 



PART 571; S 213-3 



55.1.3.2 Rear-facing child restraint systems. 

In the case of each rear-facing child restraint sys- 
tem, all portions of the test dummy's torso shall 
be retained within the system and no portion of 
the target point on either side of the dummy's 
head shall pass through the transverse orthogonal 
planes whose intersection contains the forward- 
most and top-most points on the child restraint 
system surfaces (illustrated in Figure IC). 

55.1.3.3 Car beds. In the case of car beds, all 
portions of the test dummy's head and torso shall 
be retained within the confines of the car bed. 

S5.1.4 Back support angle. When a rear-facing 
child restraint system is tested in accordance with 
S6.1, the angle between the system's back support 
surface for the child and the vertical shall not 
exceed 70 degrees. 

S5.2 Force distribution. 

S5.2.1 Minimum head support surface-child 
restraints other than car beds. 



S5.2.1.1 Except as provided in S5.2.1.2, each 
child restraint system other than a car bed shall 
provide restraint against rearward movement of 
the head of the child (rearward in relation to the 
child) by means of a continuous seat back which 
is an integral part of the system and which — 

(a) Has a height, measured along the system 
seat back surface for the child in the vertical 
longitudinal plane passing through the longitu- 
dinal centerline of the child restraint systems from 
the lowest point on the system seating surface 
that is contacted by the buttocks of the seated 
dummy, as follows: 

Weight ' (in pounds) Height- (in inches) 

Less than 20 lb 18 

20 lb or more, but not more than 40 lb 20 

More than 40 lb 22 

' When a child restraint system is recommended under S5.5(f) for 
use by children of the above weights. 

- The height of the portion of the system seat back providing head 
restraint shall not be less than the above. 

(b) Has a width of not less than 8 inches meas- 
ured in the horizontal plane at the height specified 
in paragraph (a) of this section. Except that a 
child restraint system with side supports extend- 
ing at least 4 inches forward from the padded sur- 
face of the portion of the restraint system pro- 
vided for support of the child's head may have a 



width of not less than 6 inches, measured in the 
horizontal plane of the height specified in para- 
graph (a) of this section. 

(c) Limits the rearward rotation of the test 
dummy head so that the angle between the head 
and torso of the dummy specified in 57 when 
tested in accordance with S6.1 is not more than 
45 degrees greater than the angle between the 
head and torso after the dummy has been placed 
in the system in accordance with S6. 1.2.3 and 
before the system is tested in accordance with 
S6.1. 

S5.2.1.2 [A front facing child restraint system is 
not required to comply with S5.2.1.I if the target 
point on either side of the dummy's head is below 
a horizontal plane tangent to the top of — 

(a) The standard seat assembly, in the case of 
an add-on child restraint system, when the 
dummy is positioned in the system and the sys- 
tem is installed on the assembly in accordance 
with S6.1.2. 

(b) The passenger car seat, in the case of a 
built-in child restraint system, when the system is 
activated and the dummy is positioned in the sys- 
tem in accordance with S6.1.2. (53 F.R. 1783— 
January 22, 1988. Effective: January, 22, 1988)] 

S5.2.2 Torso impact protection. Each child 
restraint system other than a car bed shall comply 
with the applicable requirements of S5.2.2.1 and 
S5.2.2.2. 

55.2.2.1 (a) The system surface provided for the 
support of the child's back shall be flat or concave 
and have a continuous surface area of not less 
than 85 square inches. 

(b) Each system surface provided for support of 
the side of the child's torso shall be flat or con- 
cave and have a continuous surface of not less 
than 24 square inches for systems recommended 
for children weighing 20 pounds or more, or 45 
square inches for systems recommended for chil- 
dren weighing less than 20 pounds. 

(c) Each horizontal cross section of each sys- 
tem surface designed to restrain forward move- 
ment of the child's torso shall be flat or concave 
and each vertical longitudinal cross section shall 
be flat or convex with a radius of curvature of the 
underlying structure of not less than 2 inches. 

55.2.2.2 [Each forward-facing child restraint sys- 
tem shall have no fixed or movable surface — 



(Rev. 1/22/88) 



PART 571; S 213^ 



(a) Directly forward of the dummy and inter- 
sected by a horizontal line — 

( 1 ) Parallel to the 50RL, in the case of the 
add-on child restraint system, or 

(2) Parallel to a vertical plane through the 
longitudinal center line of the passenger car 
seat, in the case of the built-in child restraint 
system, and (b) Passing through any portion of 

the dummy, except for surfaces which restrain the 
dummy when the system is tested in accordance 
with S6. 1.2.1.2. so that the child restraint system 
shall conform to the requirements of S5.1.2 and 
S5. 1.3.1. (53 F.R. 1783— January 22, 1988. Effec- 
tive: January, 22, 1988)] 

55.2.3 Head Impact protection. 

55.2.3.1 Each child restraint system, other than a 
child harness, which is recommended under 
S5.5.2(f) for children weighing less than 20 
pounds shall comply with S5.2.3.2. 

55.2.3.2 Each system surface, except for protru- 
sions that comply with S5.2.4. which is 
contactable by the dummy head when the system 
is tested in accordance with S6.1 shall be covered 
with slow recovery, energy absorbing material 
with the following characteristics: 

(a) A 25 percent compression-deflection resist- 
ance of not less than 0.5 and not more than 10 
pounds per square inch when tested in accordance 
with S6.3. 

(b) A thickness of not less than V2 inch for 
material having a 25 percent compression-deflec- 
tion resistance of not less than 1.5 and not more 
than 10 pounds per square inch when tested in 
accordance with S6.3. Materials having a 25 per- 
cent compression-deflection resistance of less than 
1.8 pounds per square inch shall have a thickness 
of not less than Va inch. 

55.2.4 Protrusion limitation. Any portion of a 
rigid structural component within or underlying a 
contactable surface, or any portion of a child 
restraint system surface that is subject to the 
requirements of S5.2.3 shall, with any padding or 
other flexible overlay material removed, have a 
height above any immediately adjacent restraint 
system surface of not more than V» inch and no 
exposed edge with a radius of less than 'A inch. 



55.3 Installation. 

55.3.1 Each [add-on] child restraint system shall 
have no means designed for attaching the system 
to vehicle seat cushion or vehicle seat back and no 
component (except belts) that is designed to be 
inserted between the vehicle seat cushion and 
vehicle seat back. (53 F.R. 1783— January 22, 1988. 
Effective: January, 22, 1988) 

55.3.2 When installed on a vehicle seat, each 
[add-on] child restraint system, other than child 
harnesses, shall be capable of being restrained 
against forward movement solely by means of a 
Type I seat belt assembly (defined in S57 1.209) 
that meets Standard No. 208 (S57 1.208), or by 
means of a Type I seat belt assembly plus one 
additional anchorage strap that is supplied with the 
system and conforms to S5.4. (53 F.R. 1783 — 
January 22, 1988. Effective: January, 22, 1988) 

55.3.3 Car beds. Each car bed shall be designed 
to be installed on a vehicle seat so that the car 
bed's longitudinal axis is perpendicular to a verti- 
cal longitudinal plane through the longitudinal 
axis of the vehicle. 

55.4 Belts, belt buckles, and belt webbing. 

S5.4.1 Performance requirements. The web- 
bing of belts provided with a child restraint system 
and used to attach the system to the vehicle or to 
restrain the child within the system shall — 

(a) After being subjected to abrasion as speci- 
fied in § 5.1(d) or 5.3(c) of FMVSS No. 209 
(§571.209), have a breaking strength of not less 
than 75 percent of the strength of the unbraided 
webbing when tested in accordance with S5.1(b) 
of FMVSS No. 209. 

(b) Meet the requirements of S4.3 (e) through 
(h) of FMVSS No. 209 (S57 1.209); and 

(c) If contactable by the test dummy torso 
when the system is tested in accordance with 
S6. 1 , have a width of not less than 1 V2 inches 
when measured in accordance with S5.4. 1.l. 

S5.4.1.1 Width test procedure. Condition the 
webbing for 24 hours in an atmosphere of any rel- 
ative humidity between 48 and 67 percent, and 
any ambient temperature between 70° and 77° F. 
Measure belt webbing width under a tension of 5 
pounds applied lengthwise. 



PART 571; S 213-5 



(Rev. 1/22/88) 



55.4.2 Belt buckles and belt adjustment hard- 
ware. Each belt buckle and item of belt adjust- 
ment hardware used in a child restraint system 
shall conform to the requirements of S4.3 (a) and 
S4.3 (b) of FMVSS No. 209 (S57 1.209). 

55.4.3 Belt Restraint. 

55.4.3.1 General. Each belt that is part of a 
child restraint system and that is designed to 
restrain a child using the system shall be adjust- 
able to snugly fit any child whose height and 
weight are within the ranges recommended in 
accordance with S5.5.2 (f) and who is positioned 
in the system in accordance with the instructions 
required by S5.6. 

55.4.3.2 Direct restraint. [Each belt that is part 
of a child restraint system and that is designed to 
restrain a child using the system and to attach the 
system to the vehicle shall, when tested in accord- 
ance with S6.1, impose no loads on the child that 
result from the mass of the system, or 

(a) in the case of an add-on child restraint sys- 
tem, from the mass of the seat back of the stand- 
ard seat assembly specified in S7.3, or (b) in the 
case of a built-in child restraint system, from the 
mass of any part of the vehicle into which the 
child restraint system is built. (53 F.R. 1783 — 
January 22, 1988. Effective: January, 22, 1988)] 

55.4.3.3 Seating systems. Except for child 
restraint systems subject to S5.4.3.4, each child 
restraint system that is designed for use by a child 
in a seated position and that has belts designed to 
restrain the child shall, with the test dummy speci- 
fied in S7 positioned in the system in accordance 
with S6.1.2.3, provide: 

(a) upper torso restraint in the form of: 

(i) belts passing over each shoulder of the 
child; or 

(ii) a fixed or movable surface that complies 
with S5.2.2.1(c), and 

(b) lower torso restraint in the form of: 

(i) a lap belt assembly making an angle 
between 45° and 90° with the child restraint 
seating surface at the lap belt attachment 
points, or 

(ii) a fixed or movable surface that complies 
with S5.2.2.1(c), and 

(c) in the case of each seating system rec- 
ommended for children over 20 pounds, crotch 
restraint in the form of: 



(i) a crotch belt connectable to the lap belt 
or other device used to restrain the lower torso, 
or 

(ii) a fixed or movable surface that complies 
with S5. 2.2.1(c). 

55.4.3.4 Harnesses. Each child harness shall: 

(a) Provide upper torso restraint, including belts 
passing over each shoulder of the child; 

(b) Provide lower torso restraint by means of 
lap and crotch belt; and 

(c) Prevent a child of any height for which the 
restraint is recommended for use pursuant to 
S5.5.2(f) from standing upright on the vehicle 
seat when the child is placed in the device in 
accordance with the instructions required by S5.6. 

55.4.3.5 Buckle Release. Any buckle in a child 
restraint system belt assembly designed to restrain 
a child using the system shall: 

(a) When tested in accordance with S6.2.1 prior 
to the dynamic test of S6.1, not release when a 
force of less than 9 pounds is applied and shall 
release when a force of not more than 14 pounds 
is applied: 

(b) After the dynamic test of S6. 1 , when tested 
in accordance with S6.2.3, release when a force 
of not more than 16 pounds is applied; 

(c) Meet the requirements of S4. 3(d)(2) of 
FMVSS No. 209 (S57 1.209). except that the 
minimum surface area for child restraint buckles 
designed for push-button application shall be 0.6 
square inch. 

(d) Meet the requirements of S4.3(g) of 
FMVSS No. 209 (S57 1.209) when tested in 
accordance with S5.2(g) of FMVSS No. 209; and 

(e) Not release during the testing specified in 
S6.1. 

S5.5 Labeling. 

55.5.1 Each [add-on] child restraint system shall 
be permanently labeled with the information 
specified in S5.5.2 (a) through (I). (53 F.R. 1783— 
January 22, 1988. Effective: January, 22, 1988) 

55.5.2 The information specified in paragraphs 
(a)-(m) of this section shall be stated in the Eng- 
lish language and lettered in letters and numbers 
that are not smaller than 10 point type and are on 
a contrasting background. 

(a) The model name or number of the system. 



(Rev. 1/22/88) 



PART 571; S 213-6 



(b) The manufacturer's name. A distributor's 
name may be used instead if the distributor 
assumes responsibility for all duties and liabilities 
imposed on the manufacturer with respect to the 
system by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act, as amended 

(c) The statement: *" Manufactured in ," 

inserting the month and year of manufacture. 

(d) The place of manufacture (city and State, or 
foreign country). However, if the manufacturer 
uses the name of the distributor, then it shall state 
the location (city and State, or foreign country) of 
the principal offices of the distributor. 

(e) The statement: "This child restraint system 
conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards." 

(f) One of the following statements, inserting 
the manufacturer's recommendations for the 
maximum weight and height of children who can 
safely occupy the system: 

(i) This infant restraint is designed for use by 

children who weigh pounds or less 

and whose height is inches or less; 

or 

(ii) This child restraint is designed for use 

only by children who weigh between 

and pounds and whose height is 

inches or less and who are capable 



of sitting upright alone; or 

(iii) This child restraint is designed for use 

only by children who weigh between 

and pounds and are between 



and 



.inches in height. 



(g) The following statement, inserting the loca- 
tion of the manufacturer's installation instruction 
booklet or sheet on the restraint: 
WARNING! FAILURE TO FOLLOW EACH OF 
THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS CAN 
RESULT IN YOUR CHILD STRIKING THE 
VEHICLE'S INTERIOR DURING A SUDDEN 
STOP OR CRASH. 

SECURE THIS CHILD RESTRAINT WITH A 
VEHICLE BELT AS SPECIFIED IN THE 
MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS 

LOCATED 

(h) In the case of each child restraint system 
that has belts designed to re.strain children using 
them: 

SNUGLY ADJUST THE BELTS PROVIDED 
WITH THIS CHILD RESTRAINT AROUND 
^ OUR CHILD. 

(i) [Reserved J 



(j) In the case of each child restraint system 
equipped with an anchorage strap, the statement: 
SECURE THE TOP ANCHORAGE STRAP 
PROVIDED WITH THIS CHILD RESTRAINT 
AS SPECIFIED IN THE MANUFACTURER'S 
INSTRUCTIONS. 

(k) In the case of each child restraint system 
which can be used in a rear-facing position, one 
of the following statements: 

(i) PLACE THIS CHILD RESTRAINT IN A 

REAR-FACING POSITION WHEN USING IT 

WITH AN INFANT; or 

(ii) PLACE THIS INFANT RESTRAINT IN 

A REAR-FACING POSITION WHEN USING 

IT IN THE VEHICLE. 

(1) An installation diagram showing the child 
restraint system installed in the right front out- 
board seating position equipped with a continu- 
ous-loop lap/shoulder belt and in the center rear 
seating position as specified in the manufacturer's 
instructions, [(m) The following statement, insert- 
ing an address and telephone number: "Child 
restraints could be recalled for safety reasons. 
You must register this restraint to be reached in 
a recall. Send your name, address and the 
restraint's model number and manufacturing date 
to (insert address) or call (insert telephone num- 
ber). For recall information, call the U.S. Govern- 
ment's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393 
(202-366-0123 in D.C. area)." (57 F.R. 41428— 
September 10, 1992. Effective: March 9, 1993)] 

(n) Child restraints that are certified as comply- 
ing with the provisions of section S8 shall be 
labeled with the statement "THIS RESTRAINT 
IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR 
VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT". This statement 
shall be in red lettering, and shall be placed after 
the certification statement required by paragraph 
(e) of this section. 

55.5.3 The information specified in S5.5.2 (g)-(k) 
shall be located on the add-on child restraint sys- 
tem so that it is visible when the system is 
installed as specified in S5.6.1. 

55.5.4 [Each build-in child restraint system shall 
be pennanently labeled with the information 
specified in S5. 5.5(a) through (j), so that it is visi- 
ble when the system is activated for use as speci- 
fied in S5.6.2., and, except a factory-installed 
built-in restraint, shall be pemiimently labeled 
with the information specified in S5.5.5(k). (57 



PART 57 i; S 2LV7 



(Rev. 9/10/92) 



F.R. 41428— September 10, 1992, Effective: March 
9, 1993)] 

S5.5.5 [The information specified in paragraphs 
(a) through (k) of this section shall be stated in the 
English language and lettered in letters and num- 
bers which are not smaller than 10-point type and 
are on a contrasting background. This information 
specified in paragraphs (a) through (j) shall be 
printed in the vehicle owner's manual. (57 F.R. 
41428— September 10. 1992. Effective: March 9, 
1993)] 

(a) The model name or number of the system. 

(b) The manufacturer's name. A distributor's or 
dealer's name may be used instead if the distribu- 
tor or dealer assumes responsibility for all duties 
and liabilities imposed on the manufacturer with 
respect to the system by the National Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended. 

(c) The statement: "Manufactured in ," 

inserting the month and year of manufacture. 

(d) The place of manufacture (city and State, or 
foreign country). However, if the manufacturer 
uses the name of the distributor or dealer, then it 
shall state the location (city and State, or foreign 
country) of the principal offices of the distributor 
or dealer. 

(e) The statement: "This child restraint system 
conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards. 

(f) One of the following statements, inserting 
the manufacturer's recommendations for the 
maximum weight and height of children who can 
safely occupy the system: 

(i) This infant restraint is designed for use by 

children who weigh pounds or less and 

whose height is inches or less; 

(ii) This child restraint is designed for use 

only by children who weigh between and 

pounds and whose height is inches 

or less and who are capable of sitting upright 
alone; or 

(iii) This child restraint is designed for use 

by children who weigh between and 

pounds and are between and inches 

in height. 

(g) [The statement specified in paragraph (1), 
and if appropriate, the statement in paragraph (2): 

(i) WARNING! FAILURE TO FOLLOW 
THE MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS 
ON THE USE OF THIS CHILD RESTRAINT 
SYSTEM CAN RESULT IN YOUR CHILD 



STRIKING THE VEHICLE'S INTERIOR 
DURING A SUDDEN STOP OR CRASH. 

(ii) In the case of each built-in child restraint sys- 
tem which is not intended for use in the motor 
vehicle at certain adjustment positions, the follow- 
ing statement, inserting the manufacturer's adjust- 
ment restrictions. DO NOT USE THE 

ADJUSTMENT POSITION(S) OF THIS CHILD 
RESTRAINT WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN 
MOTION. (57 F.R. 41423— September 10, 1992. 
Effective: March 9, 1993)] 

(h) In the case of each build-in child restraint 
system that has belts designed to restrain children 
using them: 

SNUGLY ADJUST THE BELTS PROVIDED 
WITH THIS CHILD RESTRAINT AROUND 
YOUR CHILD. 

(i) In the case of each built-in child restraint 
which can be used in a rear, facing position, the 
following statement: 

PLACE AN INFANT IN A REAR-FACING 
POSITION IN THIS CHILD RESTRAINT. 

(j) A diagram or diagrams showing the fully 
activated child restraint system in infant and/or 
child configurations, [(k) The following state- 
ment, inserting an address and telephone number: 
"Child restraints could be recalled for safety rea- 
sons. You must register this restraint to be 
reached in a recall. Send your name, address and 
the restraint's model number and manufacturing 
date to (insert address) or call (insert telephone 
number). For recall infomiation, call the U.S. 
Government's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424- 
9393 (202-366-0123 in D.C. area)." (57 F.R. 
41428— September 10, 1992. Effective: March 9, 
1993)] 

S5.6 Printed Instructions for Proper Use. 

S5.6.1 Add-on restraint systems. Each add-on 
child restraint system shall be accompanied by 
printed installation instructions in the English lan- 
guage that provide a step-by-step procedure, 
including diagrams, for installing the system in 
motor vehicles, securing the system in the 
vehicles, positioning a child in the system, and 
adjusting the system to fit the child. 

S5.6.1.1 In a vehicle with rear designated seating 
positions, the instructions shall alert vehicle own- 
ers that, according to accident statistics, children 
are safer when properly restrained in the rear seat- 
ing positions than in the front seating positions. 



(Rev. 9/10/92) 



PART 571; S 213-8 



55.6.1.2 The instructions shall specify in general 
terms the types of vehicles, the types of seating 
positions, and the types of vehicle safety behs 
with which the add-on child restraint system can 
or cannot be used. 

55.6.1 .3 The instructions shall explain the primary 
consequences of not following the warnings 
required to be labeled on the child restraint system 
in accordance with S5.5.2(g) through (k). 

55.6.1.4 The instructions for each car bed shall 
explain that the car bed should position in such a 
way that the child's head is near the center of the 
vehicle. 

55.6.1.5 The instructions shall state that add-on 
child restraint systems should be securely belted to 
the vehicle, even when they are not occupied, 
since in a crash an unsecured child restraint sys- 
tem may injure other occupants. 

55.6.1.6 Each add-on child restraint system shall 
have a location on the restraint for storing the 
manufacturer's instructions. 

IS5.6.1.7 The instructions shall include the fol- 
lowing statement, inserting an address and tele- 
phone number: "Child restraints could be recalled 
for safety reasons. You must register this restraint 
to be reached in a recall. Send your name, address 
and the restraint's model number and manufactur- 
ing date to (insert address) or call (insert tele- 
phone number). For recall information, call the 
U.S. Government's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800- 
424-9393 (202-366-0123 in D.C. area)." (57 F.R. 
41428— .September 10. 1992. Effective: March 9, 
1993)J 
(Rev. 9/10/92) 

S5.6.2 Built-in child restraint systems. Each 
built-in child restraint system shall be accom- 
panied by printed instructions in the English lan- 
guage that provide a step-by-step procedure, 
including diagrams, for activating the built-in 
child restraint system, positioning a child in the 
system, adjusting the restraint and, if provided, the 
restraint harness to fit the child. This information 
and the information specified in S5.5.5. shall be 
included in the vehicle owner's manual. 

S5.6.2.1 The instructions shall explain the primary 
consequences of not following the manufacturer's 



warnings for proper use of the child restraint sys- 
tem in accordance with S5.5.5(f) through (i). 

[S5.6.2.2 The instructions for each built-in child 
restraint system, except a factory-installed 
restraint, shall include the following statement, 
inserting an address and telephone number: 
"Child restraints could be recalled for safety rea- 
sons. You must register this restraint to be reached 
in a recall. Send your name, address and the 
restraint's model number and manufacturing date 
to (insert address) or call (insert telephone num- 
ber). For recall information, call the U.S. Govern- 
ment's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393 
(202-366-0123 in D.C. area)." (57 F.R. 41428— 
September 10, 1992. Effective: March 9, 1993)] 

55.6.3 The instructions shall explain the primary 
consequences of noting following the warnings 
required to be labeled on the child restraint system 
in accordance with S5.5.2 (g)-(k). 

55.6.4 The instructions for each car bed shall 
explain that the car bed should position in such a 
way that the child's head is near the center of the 
vehicle. 

55.6.5 The instructions shall state that child 
restraint systems should be securely belted to the 
vehicle, even when they are not occupied, since in 
a crash an unsecured child restraint system may 
injure other occupants. 

55.6.6 Each child restraint system shall have a 
location on the restraint for storing the manufac- 
turer's instructions. 

S5.7 Flammability. Each material used in a child 
restraint system shall conform to the requirements 
of S4 of FMVSS No. 302 (S57 1.302). In the case 
of a built-in child restraint system, the require- 
ments of 54 of FMVSS No. 302 shall be met in 
both "in-use" and "stowed" positions. 

[S5.8 Information requirements — registration 
form. 

(a) Each child restraint system, except a fac- 
tory-installed build-in restraint system, shall have 
a registration form attached to any surface of the 
restraint that contacts the dummy when the 
dummy is positioned in the system in accordance 
with S6.I.2 of Standard 213. 

(b) Each form shall: 



PART 571: .S 213-9 



(Rev. 9/10/92) 



(1) Consist of a postcard that is attached at 
a peiforation to an informational card; 

(2) Conform in size, content and format to 
Figures 9a and 9b; and 

(3) Have a thickness of at least 0.007 inches 
and not more than 0.0095 inches, (c) Each post- 
card shall provide the model name or number and 
date of manufacture (month, year) of the child 
restraint system to which the form is attached, 
shall contain space for the purchaser to record his 
or her name and mailing address, shall be 
addressed to the manufacturer, and shall be post- 
age paid. No other information shall appear on 
the postcard, except identifying information that 
distinguishes a particular child restraint system 
from other systems of that model name or number 
may be preprinted in the shaded area of the post- 
card, as shown in figure 9a. (57 F.R. 41428 — 
September 10, 1992. Effective: March 9, 1993)] 

S6. Test Conditions and Procedures. 
S6.1 Dynamic Systems Test. 
S6.1.1 Test Conditions. 

S6. 1.1.1 [(a) The test device for add-on child 
restraint systems is the standard seat assembly 
specified in S7.3. The assembly is mounted on a 
dynamic test platform so that the center SORL of 
the seat is parallel to the direction of the test plat- 
form travel and so that movement between the 
base of the assembly and the platform is pre- 
vented. 

(b) The test device for built-in child restraint 
systems is either the specific vehicle shell or the 
specific vehicle. 

(l)(i) The specific vehicle shell, if selected 
for testing, is mounted on a dynamic test plat- 
form so that the longitudinal center line of the 
shell is parallel to the direction of the test plat- 
form trave! and so that movement between the 
base of the shell and the platform is prevented. 
Adjustable seats are in the adjustment position 
midway between the forwardmost and rearmost 
position, and if separately adjustable in a verti- 
cal direction, are at the lowest position. If an 
adjustment position does not exist midway 
between the forwardmost and rearmost position, 
the closest adjustment position to the rear of 
the midpoint is used. Adjustable seat backs are 
in the manufacturer's nominal design riding 



position. If such a position is not specified, the 
seat back is positioned so that the longitudinal 
center line of the child test dummy's neck is 
vertical, and if an instrumented test dummy is 
used, the accelerometer surfaces in the dum- 
my's head and thorax, as positioned in the 
vehicle, are horizontal. If the vehicle seat is 
equipped with adjustable head restraints, each 
is adjusted to its highest adjustment position. 

(ii) The platform is instrumented with an 
accelerometer and data processing system hav- 
ing a frequency response of 60Hz channel class 
as specified in Society of Automotive Engi- 
neers Recommended Practice J211 JUN80 
"Instrumentation for Impact Tests." The accel- 
erometer sensitive axis is parallel to the direc- 
tion of the test platform travel. (2) For built- 
in child restraint systems, an alternative test 
device is the specific vehicle into which the built- 
in system is fabricated. The following test condi- 
tions apply to this alternate test device. (57 F.R. 
41428— September 10, 1992. Effective: March 9, 
1993)] 

(c) For built-in child restraint systems, an alter- 
nate test device is the specific vehicle into which 
the build-in system is fabricated. Activate the sys- 
tem in accordance with the manufactuier's 
instructions provided in the vehicle owner's man- 
ual in accordance with S5.6.2. When the complete 
vehicle traveling longitudinally forward at any 
speed up to and including 30 mph, impacts a 
fixed collision barrier that is perpendicular to the 
line of travel of the vehicle, the built-in child 
restraint system shall meet the injury criteria of 
S5.1.2. The following test conditions apply to this 
alternate test device. 

(i) The vehicle is loaded to its unloaded 
vehicle weight plus its rated cargo and luggage 
capacity weight, secured in the luggage area, 
plus the appropriate child test dummy and, at 
the option of the manufacturer, an 
anthropomorphic test dummy which conforms 
to the requirements of Subpart B or Subpart E 
of Part 572 of this title for a 50th percentile 
adult male dummy placed in the front outboard 
seating position. If the built-in child restraint 
system is installed at one of the seating posi- 
tions otherwise requiring the placement of a 
Part 572 test dummy, then in the frontal barrier 
crash specified in S6.1.1.2, the appropriate 
child test dummy shall be substituted for the 
Part 572 test dummy, but only at that seating 



(Rev. 9/10/92) 



PART 571; S 213-10 



position. The fuel tank is filled to any level 
from 90 to 95 percent of capacity. 

(ii) Adjustable seats are in the adjustment 
midway between the forward-most and rear- 
most positions, and if .separately adjustable in a 
vertical direction, are at the lowest position. If 
an adjustment position does not exist midway 
between the forward-most and rear-most posi- 
tions, the closest adjustment position to the rear 
of the midpoint is used. 

(iii) Adjustable seat backs are iii the manu- 
facturer's nominal design riding position. If a 
nominal position is not specified, the seat back 
is positioned so that the longitudinal center line 
of the child test dummy's neck is vertical, and 
if an anthropomorphic test dummy is used, the 
accelerometer surfaces in the test dummy's 
head and thorax, as positioned in the vehicle, 
are horizontal. If the vehicle is equipped with 
adjustable head restraints, each is adjusted to its 
highest adjustment position. 

(iv) Movable vehicle windows and vents are, 
at the manufacturer's option, placed in the fully 
closed position. 

(v) Convertibles and open-body type vehicles 
have the top, if any, in place in the closed pas- 
senger compartment configuration. 

(vi) Doors are fully closed and latched but 
not locked. 

(vii) All instrumentation and data reduction 
is in conformance with S AE J2 1 1 JUN80. 

S6.1.1.2 [The tests are frontal barrier impact sim- 
ulations of the test platform or frontal barrier 
crashes of the specific vehicles as specified in 
S5.1 (571.208) and for: 

(a) Test Configuration 1 specified in S6. 1.2. 1.1, 
are at a velocity change of 30 mph with the accel- 
eration of the test platform entirely within the 
curve shown in Figure 2, or for the specific 
vehicle test with the deceleration produced in 30 
mph frontal barrier crash, (b) Test Configuration 
II specified in S6. 1.2.1.2 are set at a velocity 
change of 20 mph with the acceleration of the test 
platform entirely within the curve shown in Fig- 
ure 3, or for the specific vehicle test with the 
deceleration produced in 20 mph frontal barrier 
crash. (53 F.R. 1783— .lanuary 22, 1988. Effective: 
January, 22, 1988)J 



ACCELERATION FUNCTION FOR AV = 30 MPH, 




40 60 

TIME— MILLISECONDS 



Figure 2 



ACCELERATION FUNCTION FOR AV = 30 MPH. 




20 40 60 

TIME— MILLISECONDS 



Figure 3 

56.1.1.3 In the case of add-on child restraint sys- 
tems. Type I seat belt assemblies meeting the 
requirements of Standard No. 209 (S57 1.209) and 
having webbing with a width of not more than 2 
inches are attached, without the use of retractors 
or reels of any kind, to the seat belt anchorage 
points (illustrated in Figure IB) provided on the 
standard seat assembly. 

56.1.1.4 Performance tests under S6.I are con- 
ducted at any ambient temperature from 66° to 
78° F and at any relative humidity from 10 per- 
cent to 70 percent. 

[S6.1.1.5 In the case of add-on child restraint sys- 
tems, the restraint shall meet the requirements of 
S5 at each of its seat back angle adjustment posi- 
tions and restraint belt routing positions, when the 
restraint is oriented in the direction recommended 
by the manufacturer (e.g., forward, rearward or 
laterally) pursuant to S5.6, and tested with the test 



PART 571: S 213-11 



(Rev. 1/22/88) 



dummy specified in S7. (57 F.R. 41423 — Septem- 
ber 10, 1992. Effective: March 9, 1993)] 

S6.1.2 Dynamic Test Procedure. 

56.1.2.1 Test Configuration. 

56.1. 2.1.1 Test Configuration (a) In the case of 
each add-on child restraint system other than a 
child harness, a booster seat with a top anchorage 
strap, or a restraint designed for use by physically 
handicapped children, install a new add-on child 
restraint system at the center seating position of 
the standard seat assembly in accordance with the 
manufacturer's instructions provided with the sys- 
tem pursuant to S5.6.1, except that the add-on 
restraint shall be secured to the standard vehicle 
seat using only the standard vehicle lap belt. A 
child harness, booster seat with a top anchorage 
strap, or a restraint designed for use by physically 
handicapped children shall be installed at the cen- 
ter seating position of the standard seat assembly 
in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions 
provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1. 

(b) In the case of each built-in child restraint 
system, activate the restraint in the specific 
vehicle shell or the specific vehicle, in accordance 
with the manufacturer's instructions provided in 
the vehicle owner's manual in accordance with 
S5.6.2. 

56.1.2.1.2 Test Configuration II. (a) In the case 
of each add-on child restraint system which is 
equipped with a fixed or movable surface 
described in S5.2.2.2, or a booster seat with a top 
anchorage strap, install a new add-on child 
restraint system at the center seat position of the 
standard seat assembly using only the standard 
seat lap belt to secure the system to the standard 
seat. 

(b) In the case of each built-in child restraint 
system which is equipped with a fixed or mov- 
able surface described in S5.2.2.2, or a built-in 
booster seat with a top anchorage strap, activate 
the system in the specific vehicle shell or the spe- 
cific vehicle in accordance with the manufactur- 
er's instructions provided in the vehicle owner's 
manual in accordance with S5.6.2. 

56.1.2.2 Tighten all belts used to attach the add- 
on child restraint system to the standard seat 
assembly to a tension of not less than 12 pounds 
and not more than 15 pounds, as measured by a 



load cell used on the webbing portion of the belt. 
Tighten all manual vehicle belts used to secure the 
built-in child restraint system or a child to the spe- 
cific vehicle shell or specific vehicle to one of the 
following tensions: 

(a) For a seat equipped with a manual adjuster 
or automatic locking retractor, not less than 12 
pounds and not more than 15 pounds, as meas- 
ured by a load cell used on the webbing portion 
of the belt; 

(b) For a seat equipped with an emergency 
locking retractor, as specified in S4.3 of Standard 
209. 

S6. 1.2.3 Place in the child restraint any dummy 
specified in 57 for testing systems for use by chil- 
dren of the heights and weights for which the sys- 
tem is recommended in accordance with S5.6. 

S6.1 .2.3.1 When placing the 3-year-old test 
dummy in add-on or built-in child restraint sys- 
tems other than car beds, position the test dummy 
according to the instructions for child positioning 
provided by the manufacturer with the system in 
accordance with S5.6.1 or S5.6.2 while confomi- 
ing to the following: 

(a) Holding the test dummy torso upright until 
it contacts the system's design seating surface, 
place the test dummy in the seated position within 
the system with the midsagittal plane of the test 
dummy head — 

(i) coincident with the center SORL of the 
standard seating assembly, in the case of the 
add-on child restraint system, or 

(ii) vertical and parallel to the longitudinal 
center line of the specific vehicle shell or the 
specific vehicle, in the case of a built-in child 
restraint system. 

(b) Extend the arms of the test dummy as far 
as possible in the upward vertical direction. 
Extend the legs of the dummy as far as possible 
in the forward horizontal direction, with the 
dummy feet perpendicular to the centerline of the 
lower legs. 

(c) Using a flat square surface with an area of 
4 square inches, apply a force of 40 pounds, per- 
pendicular to: 

(i) the plane of the back of the standard seat 
assembly in the case of an add-on child 
restraint system, or 

(ii) the back of the vehicle seat in the spe- 
cific vehicle shell or the specific vehicle in the 



(Rev. 9/10/92) 



PART 571: S 213-12 



case of a build-in child restraint system, first 
against the dummy crotch and then at the 
dummy thorax in the midsagittal plane of the 
dummy. For a child restraint system with a 
fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 
which is being tested under the conditions of 
test configuration II, do not attach any of the 
child restraint belts unless they are an integral 
part of the fixed or movable surface. For all 
other child restraint systems and for a child 
restraint system with a fixed or movable sur- 
face which is being tested under the conditions 
of test configuration I, attach all appropriate 
child restraint belts and tighten them as speci- 
fied in S6. 1.2.4. Attach all appropriate vehicle 
belts and tighten them as specified in S6. 1.2.2. 
Position each movable surface in accordance 
with the manufacturer's Instructions provided 
in accordance with S5.6.1 or S5.6.2. 

(d) After the steps specified in paragraph (c) of 
this section, rotate each dummy limb downwards 
in the plane parallel to the dummy's midsagittal 
plane until the limb contacts a surface of the child 
restraint system or the standard seat assembly in 
the case of an add-on system, or the specific 
vehicle shell or specific vehicle in the case of a 
built-in system, as appropriate. Position the limbs, 
if necessary, so that limb placement does not 
inhibit torso or head movement in tests conducted 
under S6. 

S6. 1.2. 3.2 When placing the 6-month-old dummy 
in [add-on or built-in] child restraint systems 
other than car beds, position the test dummy 
according to the instructions for child positioning 
provided with the system by the manufacturer in 
accordance with [S5.6.1 or S5.6.2] while 
conforming to the following: 

(a) With the dummy in the supine position on 
a horizontal surface, and while preventing move- 
ment of the dummy torso by placing a hand on 
the center of the torso, rotate the dummy legs 
upward by lifting the feet until the legs contact 
the upper torso and the feet touch the head, and 
then slowly release the legs but do not return 
them to the flat surface. 

(b) Place the dummy in the child restraint sys- 
tem so that the back of the dummy torso contacts 
the back support surface of the system. For a 
child restraint system with a fixed or movable 
surface described in S5.2.2.2 which is being 
tested under the conditions of test configuration 



II. do not attach any of the child restraint belts 
unless they are an integral part of the fixed or 
movable surface. For all other child restraint sys- 
tems and for a child restraint system with a fixed 
or movable surface which is being tested under 
the conditions of test configuration I, attach all 
appropriate child restraint belts and tighten them 
as specified in S6. 1.2.4. Attach all appropriate 
vehicle belts and tighten them as specified in 
S6.1.